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Dr. John W. Coleman, Sr.

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Information about Dr. John W. Coleman, Sr.

Profile image of Dr. John W. Coleman, Sr.

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Radiologist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pork Chops
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
Gee Whiz.

Birthplace

Born:
12/18/1920
Birth Location:
Glendale, South Carolina

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Radiologist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pork Chops
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
Gee Whiz.

Birthplace

Born:
12/18/1920
Birth Location:
Glendale
See how Dr. John W. Coleman, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Dr. John William Coleman was born on December 18, 1920, in Glendale, South Carolina. Coleman was the oldest boy of four children born to Birdie O'Neal and John Henry Coleman. Coleman always wanted to be a doctor and grew up to become a radiologist who helped change Chicago's hospitals.

Cummings Street High School in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which Coleman attended, was located behind an incinerator. In spite of the unpleasant environment, Coleman excelled and graduated second in his class in 1937. He was awarded a scholarship to Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, and earned a bachelor's degree at the age of twenty. Having learned the plastering trade from his father, Coleman decided to work as a plasterer for a year in order to save money for medical school. He was accepted to Meharry Medical School, but on December 7, 1941, the United States entered World War II. Coleman received notification that he would be drafted. However, the local draft board president was a physician, and when Coleman showed him his acceptance letter, the physician tore up the induction notice and told him to go to school.

Coleman enrolled in Meharry, but in 1943, he and his classmates were inducted into the U.S. Army. Declared part of the Army Specialized Training Program, Coleman and his classmates were sent back to school. By the time Coleman graduated, the war had ended. Coleman was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve - a commission he resigned at the request of the military. Coleman moved to Chicago, Illinois, and interned at Provident Hospital. The next year, he became a resident in radiology and was certified in both diagnostic and therapeutic radiology and served as an attending physician part time at Provident while beginning a private practice. Then, in 1952, Coleman was called to take part in the Korean War. Reenlisting and serving as an Air Force captain, Coleman worked in an Air Force hospital in upstate New York for two years.

In 1955, Coleman moved back to Chicago and opened a practice on the city's South Side. In 1958, he began working part time at the West Side Veteran's Administration Hospital. Coleman was instrumental in a 1961 lawsuit resulting in integrated hospitals in Chicago. He continued to work with veterans until his 1988 retirement.

Coleman passed away on December 31, 2004 at age 84.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Coleman's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Coleman lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Coleman describes his family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Coleman describes the sights, smells, and sounds of growing up in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Coleman talks about his family's experience during the Depression
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Coleman talks about his neighborhood growing up in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Coleman describes the tension between blacks and whites growing up in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Coleman talks about the segregated school system in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Coleman describes his teachers at Dean Street Grammar School in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Coleman talks about his aspirations to become a doctor in his youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - John Coleman talks about attending Cumming Street High School in Spartanburg, South Carolina from 1933 to 1937
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Coleman talks about attending Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1937
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Coleman describes his activities as a student at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Coleman talks about graduating from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1941 and then attending medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Coleman describes Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Coleman describes being inducted into the U.S. Army Specialized Training Program during World War II while he was enrolled at Meharry Medical College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Coleman talks about becoming a radiology resident at Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois in 1943
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Coleman talks about his residency at Provident Hospital and Michael Reese Hospital, in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Coleman talks about working as a radiologist at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, before starting his private practice in 1950
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Coleman talks about serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict from 1953 to 1955
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Coleman describes his radiology practice on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois in the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Coleman describes the segregated hospitals in Chicago, Illinois in the 1950s that led to his filing a lawsuit in 1961
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Coleman talks about the lawsuit to integrate Chicago Hospitals in 1961
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Coleman describes how the 1961 lawsuit to integrate hospitals affected Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Coleman talks about the demise of Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Coleman talks about Provident Hospital's role in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Coleman describes some of the medical organizations he is a part of
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Coleman talks about educating black patients
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Coleman talks about improving the health care of African Americans
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Coleman talks about how health care for the black community has changed over his career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Coleman talks about his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Coleman describes what he hopes for the black community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John Coleman talks about his family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John Coleman talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Coleman describes how managed care has changed the health care industry during his career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Coleman narrates his photographs