Topic | Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall

Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall



Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. was born in May 1931 in Quincy, Florida to LaSalle and Martha Leffall. Dr. LaSalle Leffall’s biggest inspiration was  his father. His father’s hardwork in becoming the first person to go to college in his family and become a teacher and professor was part of Leffall Jr’s inspiration to become educated and successful in life. He is a surgical oncologist and a medical educator. Dr. Lasalle Lefall Jr. stated how in his foundation as a child the importance of education was drilled into him and his sister from his parents. He was the valedictorian of Florida A&M high school at the age of 15. He attended Florida A&M University and received his B.S. degree by the age of 18 graduating summa cum laude. In his autobiography ” No Boundaries”, when Dr. Leffall had to decide where he would like to go for medical school he had the two choices of Meharry and Howard, which were two important medical schools in training black physicians prior to abolishment of segregation in America.  He ended up attending Howard Medical School and graduated in 1952 as a ranking student. Dr. LaSalle Leffall interned at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St Louis Missouri from 1952-1953. Then was a junior resident at D.C. General Hospital and Freedmen’s Hospital from 1953-1956. He was a senior resident in Surgery at Freedmen’s Hospital. He later was the first African- American to do a senior fellowship (In Cancer Surgery) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He served as a captain and Chief of General Surgery in the U.S. Army at the U.S. Army Hospital in Munich, Germany. He was the first African-American president of the American College of Surgeons (1979) and the first African- American president of the American Cancer Society (1978). Dr. LaSalle Leffall Jr. served the assistant Professor of Surgery at Howard University College of Medicine (1962-1966) as well as the Associate Professor of Surgery at Howard Medical School (1966-1970). Dr. LaSalle Leffall from 1970 to the present is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Howard College of Medicine. Dr. LaSalle Leffall Jr. had served as a mentor and educator for various students trying to become great physicians.


Notable Facts

  • He was the first African- American President of the American Cancer Society
  • He served as the president of the Society of Surgical Oncology
  • He was the first African- American President of the American College of Surgeons