Topic | William A Warfield

William A Warfield


Dr. William Alonza Warfield was born on November 17, 1866 in Hyaftstown, Maryland. He atended Centenary Biblical Institute, now Morgan State College in Baltimore, MD and graduated in 1891. Subsequently, he attended Howard University School of Medicine, graduated and began service as an intern at Freedman’s in 1894. He trained in surgery under Daniel Hale Williams and, per standard procedure of the time, was appointed professor of abdominal surgery, a post he held until July 1937 when he was voted emeritus by the Board of Trustees of the University. Over Dr. Warfield’s forty-two year tenure at Freedman’s Hospital, the facility expanded to a 322 bed institution spanning four blocks in Washington D.C. Dr. Warfield served as Surgeon-in-Chief from October 1901 to November 1936. Under his leadership, the Sundry Civil Act of 1903 provided for the construction of a new hospital building, completed in 1908. In 1921, the Association of Former Internes of Freedman’s Hospital was formed, with Dr. Warfield as honorary president for life. The next year, Freedman’s received formal approval of the American College of Surgeons in 1922. Under Dr. Warfield’s quiet and moderated leadership, Freedman’s Hospital continued to grow in size, prestige, and quality as the premiere medical institution for African Americans in the south of the U.S. Dr. Warfield died in December 1951 at age 85. 


Notable Facts

  • Surgeon-in-Chief of Freedman's Hospital for 35 year
  • Honorary President of the Association of Former Internes of Freedman's Hospital
  • Professor of Abdominal Surgery at Howard University School of Medicine