The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Dr. Louis Sullivan

Share on Social Media

Information about Dr. Louis Sullivan

Profile image of Dr. Louis Sullivan

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Medical Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
We can do it.

Birthplace

Born:
11/3/1933
Birth Location:
Atlanta, Georgia

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Medical Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
We can do it.

Birthplace

Born:
11/3/1933
Birth Location:
Atlanta
See how Dr. Louis Sullivan is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Louis Wade Sullivan was born on November 3, 1933, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Lubirda Priester and Walter Wade Sullivan. Dr. Sullivan served the American people as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in addition to founding the prestigious Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sullivan graduated from Morehouse College in 1954 with a B.S. in biology. He earned an M.D. from the Boston University School of Medicine in 1958 and completed an internship and residency at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Sullivan focused on hematology. He began a career in education, teaching at Harvard Medical School and the New Jersey College of Medicine, while researching at the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory. In 1966, he began serving his alma mater as the Co-director of Hematology at Boston University Medical Center. The next year, he founded the Boston University Hematology Service at Boston City Hospital. He continued as a faculty member at the Boston University School of Medicine until 1975, when he moved back to Atlanta to work for Morehouse College. There, he taught biology and medicine, founding the Medical Education Program at Morehouse College.

The Morehouse School of Medicine became independent from Morehouse College in 1981, with Sullivan as president and dean. He continued as president through 1989, when he took a leave of absence after being appointed to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services. As head of HHS, Sullivan's responsibility extended to the health and welfare of the country. He battled the tobacco industry and championed victims of AIDS. In 1993, he left his government post and returned to Morehouse School of Medicine as president.

Sullivan hosted the public television show "Frontiers of Medicine." He is the founding president of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools and is active in numerous other civic organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America. He has received dozens of honorary degrees and has been honored by diverse organizations, such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Association of Minority Medical Educators. He and his wife, E. Ginger Williamson Sullivan, have three children.

See how Dr. Louis Sullivan is related to other HistoryMakers
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Louis Sullivan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan discusses his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan discusses his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan talks about growing up in Albany, Georgia and Blakely, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan talks about his father's funeral home business and his parents' activism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Louis Sullivan describes his personality during his early years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Louis Sullivan talks about attending school in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan shares memories from his childhood in Blakely, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan discusses his high school experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan reflects on his early interest in becoming a doctor
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan talks about making the decision to attend Morehouse College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan discusses his experiences at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Louis Sullivan talks about several distinguished professors who taught at Morehouse College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Louis Sullivan reflects on numerous leaders from Atlanta's black community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Louis Sullivan talks about his decision to attend medical school at Boston University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan talks about his experiences as a student at Boston University School of Medicine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan explains why he chose to help found the Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan discusses the various phases of his career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan discusses the origins of the Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Louis Sullivan explains the strategy behind founding the Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan discusses the significance of fundraising in the success of Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan explains how he became Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan discusses how Morehouse School of Medicine received federal funding
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan talks about his experiences as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Second slating for Louis Sullivan
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan talks about other black students during his time at Boston University Medical School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan discusses his mentors while attending Boston University Medical School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan talks about his interest in hematology
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan talks about developments in the practice of hematology
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan discusses the challenges of medical school and his decision to specialize
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Louis Sullivan discusses how his decision to become a doctor was significant for his family and community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Louis Sullivan reminisces about the first time he saw a cadaver
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Louis Sullivan talks about death and objectivity in the practice of medicine
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan talks about his interview with and decision to intern at New York Hospital
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan shares a story from his early experiences at New York Hospital
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan discusses race and class demographics of patients at New York Hospital
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan discusses his decision to return to Boston, Massachusetts as a hematology fellow
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan describes his hemalogical research
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Louis Sullivan talks about early research on sickle cell anemia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Louis Sullivan talks about the formation of the National Center for Sickle Cell Disease
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan discusses his decision to pursue medical research rather than become a general practitioner
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan explains how his administrative skills helped him found Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan explains the conditions that led to the founding of Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan provides historical details on the formation of the Atlanta University Center consortium
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan explains how Atlanta University Center accepted the formation of Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Louis Sullivan talks being recruited to become dean of Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan talks about the areas of specialization offered by Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan explains the strategy used to build the faculty of Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan explains how Morehouse School of Medicine gained full accreditation
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan describes Morehouse School of Medicine's relationship with the Atlanta University Center consortium
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan discusses various resources that have helped fund Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Third slating for Louis Sullivan interview
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan talks about the significance of state funding for Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan discusses the financial challenges of founding Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan identifies individuals who were instrumental in the development of Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan discusses the recruitment of the first students to attend Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan describes Morehouse School of Medicine's relationship with other historically black medical schools
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Louis Sullivan discusses several early challenges to the development of Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Louis Sullivan talks about Barbara Bush joining the board of trustees of Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan explains how black members of Congress helped secure federal funding for Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan reflects on the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on politics and education in Georgia
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan discusses the relationship between Morehouse School of Medicine and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan talks about the challenge of developing a strong medical institution
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan provides additional details about his selection as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Louis Sullivan continues his discussion about accepting the nomination for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan reflects on leaving Morehouse School of Medicine to serve as the Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan discusses various tasks and duties as Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan discusses dealing with controversial issues as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan talks about dealing with the press during his Senate confirmation process
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan talks about his accomplishments as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Louis Sullivan tells of how he fought with the tobacco industry as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, part 1
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Louis Sullivan tells of how he fought with the tobacco industry as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, part 2
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan discusses the health dangers of smoking and the fight for ingredient labels for cigarettes and food
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan talks about the challenge of addressing the AIDS panic of the late 1980s and early 1990s
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan explains challenges unique to the office of U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan talks about the responsiblities associated with being U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan identifies memorable experiences as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Louis Sullivan talks about his decision to return to Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Louis Sullivan discusses David Satcher's recruitment developing a succession plan at Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Louis Sullivan discusses his hopes and vision for Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Louis Sullivan discusses the present state of the medical profession
  • Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Louis Sullivan explains his feelings of commitment and responsibility to the black community
  • Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Louis Sullivan considers his legacy