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Dr. Fred Parrott

Foundation executive and gynecologist Dr. Fred D. Parrott was born in Houston, Texas on December 22, 1934. After graduating from Jack Yates High School in 1944, Parrott enrolled at Howard University where he earned his B.S. degree in psychology in 1947. Following the completion of his undergraduate study, Parrott earned his M.S. degree in microbiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. During the early 1950s and during the Korean War, Parrott entered the Medical Service Corps of the United States Army , where he was stationed in Tokyo, Japan for two years while he worked as a bacteriologist. He also opened a tailor shop in Tokyo, fitting servicemen with Hong Kong made shirts. Parrott’s first employment in the medical field was working as the territory manager for Wyeth Pharmaceutical. In 1958, Parrott graduated from Meharry Medical College and became a fellow of the University of Minnesota Medical Center Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Parrott moved to Los Angeles, California upon graduating and did an internship at the Los Angeles County Hospital before becoming a fellow at the University of Minnesota. After completing his fellowship, Parrott returned to Los Angles and began private practice.

In 1986, Parrott founded the "Real Men Cook" Foundation, whose mission was to increase the number of minority health care providers by awarding scholarships to students attending Historically Black College and University medical schools in the United States. In 1994, after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Parrott founded the Real Men Cook Foundation Center for Early Detection of Prostate Cancer. The Foundation’s goals expanded to increasing awareness and education of prostate cancer and prevention in inner city communities.

Parrott is a member of the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association, the Los Angeles Country Medical Association and the Charles R. Drew Medical Society. He is also a board member of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a founding member of the National Prostate Cancer Coalition. Parrott is the recipient of the Back Heritage Award and President Medal of Honor from Howard University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Meharry Medical College.

Dr. Fred D. Parrott was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 7, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.196

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/7/2007

Last Name

Parrott

Maker Category
Middle Name

D

Schools

Jack Yates High School

Meharry Medical College

University of California, Los Angeles

Howard University

First Name

Fred

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

PAR06

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maui, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Education, Education And More Education Is The Best Way To Rescue Men From Prostate Cancer.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/22/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Health Food

Short Description

Foundation executive and gynecologist Dr. Fred Parrott (1934 - ) founded the Real Men Cook Foundation.

Employment

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Fred Parrott's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Fred Parrott lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Fred Parrott lists his parents' names

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Fred Parrott remembers his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes his upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Fred Parrott talks about his mother's relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Fred Parrott remembers his mother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Fred Parrott talks about the role of women in the family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes his decision to attend medical school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes his role as a student representative for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes his father's dental practice

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Fred Parrott recalls his fellowship at the University of Minnesota Medical Center

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Fred Parrott talks about his relationship with his father

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Fred Parrott talks about his sister

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes his experiences at Jack Yates Senior High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Fred Parrott remembers Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Fred Parrott recalls his U.S. military service in the Korean War

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Fred Parrott remembers Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Fred Parrott talks about his medical practice

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes the Real Men Cook Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Fred Parrott recalls his and his father's prostate cancer diagnoses

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes the mission of the Real Men Cook Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Fred Parrott talks about his collaboration with The Links, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes his plans for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Fred Parrott describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Fred Parrott remembers his religious upbringing

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Fred Parrott talks about his organizational involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. Fred Parrott reflects upon his life

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Dr. Fred Parrott describes the Real Men Cook Foundation
Dr. Fred Parrott recalls his and his father's prostate cancer diagnoses
Transcript
But, one of the greatest, one of the greatest activities that we did, a community activity we did, we started the Real Men Cook Foundation for Education [Real Men Cook Foundation for Education Center for Early Detection of Prostate Cancer], and we did that in the '80s [1980s] and we did that for about ten years.$$This is the Real Men Cook--$$Foundation for Education, it was a culinary extravaganza where we would, where we'd get a hundred black men from various, various professions--like Chief Parks [HistoryMaker Bernard Parks], and Chief Williams [Willie L. Williams], actors, and writers, to be chefs. We get no less than a hundred men, and we did that for ten years. And we did that for the, for the, to raise money for the four historically minority medical schools [HBCUs] and that's where we raised over $500,000 for them. And, that's how we established our academic scholarship of excellence and that was a very fun, fun type of event. We did that for ten years. In 1993, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. And our board of directors changed our mission from education to bringing education on erectile dysfunction, on men's issues, on nutrition, on prevention of obesity, on prostate cancer and prostate cancer screening. And, there we, we--that was founded on February 2, 1994 in the chamber of Cecil Murray [HistoryMaker Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray]. Cecil Murray was the faith leader for, for FAME A.M.E. Church [First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME), Los Angeles, California]. He was our first honorary, honorary chairperson. The founding members of the Real Men Cook Foundation were Dr. Eila Skinner [Eila C. Skinner] who is associate professor of urology at USC Norris Cancer Center [USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, California], Dr. Donald Skinner [Donald G. Skinner] who is the chairman for professor of department of urology, USC Norris Cancer Center, and Fred D. Parrott, M.D. [HistoryMaker Dr. Fred Parrott], prostate cancer survivor. We started that over twelve years ago. I was diagnosed in 1993, and by May was cured of prostate cancer and I've been free ever since. And they have been with us ever since. Dr. Skinner, she still does the, the regions--the letters out to, to men who have been screened. And since that time, I imagine, I've screened over fifty thousand men, we've touched over a million families, we have, we have personally talked to over five hundred ministers, we've sent out millions and millions of flyers and posters and information on prostate cancer. We have a, we have a outreach office in the inner city. We have a one-on-one consultation model on prostate cancer education--director, Juan Burnson [ph.] is director of that. We have a Latino outreach director, Victor Grimaldo, who speaks and talks and educates the Spanish speaking men on erectile dysfunction, on men's issues of prevention of obesity, prostate cancer and prostate cancer screening.$Okay Dr. Parrott [HistoryMaker Dr. Fred Parrott], 1993 you were diagnosed with prostate cancer, but there was something in your life that was very personal to you in regards to prostate cancer, what was that, sir?$$Well, my father [Fred Parrott, Sr.] died of prostate cancer; he died a horrible death of prostate cancer. He, it's really interesting. He, he came up one Christmas, and then I sent him over to a urologist, Dr. Bledsoe [ph.]. And Dr. Bledsoe called me up that he had did, at that time they did needle biopsies, called me up and said everything was fine. Then he called me back later on, my father was (unclear) to go, my father was so happy, it was clear. He called me up, and he had just got a report back, and he said, "We got bad report, I was given the wrong report. Your father does have prostate cancer." And my father was happy, leaving that day, I said, "Well, Doc, I can't tell him, you gonna have to tell him." So he said, "Okay." So he, he--when he got back home to Houston [Texas], he arranged for a bed at Baylor University [Baylor College of Medicine], a great cancer center in Houston. And, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and it metastasized, and there was no, there was no treatment; you'd give him the estrogen--no treatment as of the date. And, he, he died of--he was in so much pain, I used to hear him moan out. He was a deacon, a very spiritual man, he used to moan out, "Oh God, what have I done, what have I done for me to have this much pain?" A tremendous amount of pain. But I had forgotten that he had prostate cancer. I never got tested until about ten, fifteen years later. So went over with a friend of mine who was having, who was having, having his prostate removed; not because of prostate cancer, but because of hyperplasia. And I sat with him on the operating, with him in the operating room, and I realized that I need to go get tested. When I went to get tested my PSA [prostate specific antigen] was four. At that time, there was a zero to four in milligrams, and the next year, I had four, I said, "I better go get a biopsy." And, I called on my own, "Oh, we have a doctor in the office," the new biopsy had just came about. So he did a biopsy on me in his office. It came back negative, and I said, "I still need to go." So, I called Dr. Donald Skinner [Donald G. Skinner], 'cause I looked around to see who, who the specialist who was doing--the most promising specialist who was doing, doing work in prostate cancer. And, talked to Skinner, one of the people that I was referred to and I called him up, and he referred me to Dr. Eila Skinner [Eila C. Skinner], his associate; no relationship, just had the same name. So, that's how I became--and, she did a biopsy on me and it came back positive, had a--made a score of six, and my PSA rate, and then my PS--. I had a, I had a Real Men Cook--it was in 1996, I had a Real Men Cook for Education [Real Men Cook Foundation for Education Center for Early Detection of Prostate Cancer], coming up and I wanted to do that, do that one before I went in for surgery. By the time I was ready for surgery, my PSA had risen up to about eight or nine, but it was, it was localized, and we did a very radical; it was what they call a nerve-sparing procedure. So, I've been free ever since.$$So you were diagnosed in 1993?$$Um-hm.$$But it wasn't until 1996 that you actually had the actual--?$$No, 1990--1994, we, we founded it. Nineteen ninety-four [1994] we did our--we founded in the office of Cecil Murray [HistoryMaker Reverend Cecil L. "Chip" Murray]. But we never made any, asked for any donations until two or three years later. We did do a prostate cancer education extravaganza with Norris [USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, California] one year. That was in 1996, I think.$$But you get diagnosed in 1993, and you had the surgery in 1993?$$I had surgery in 1994.$$Ninety-four [1994]. Okay, had surgery, okay, you had a radical, you had a radical. Dr. Parrott, in your, now that, here you now--okay, in this part of your life now, you're now a prostate cancer survivor?$$I'm cured of prostate--yes.$$And I know people argue about that term cured and in remission (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Okay. I'm a prostate cancer survivor.