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Dr. John E. Franklin, Sr.

Medical doctor Dr. John E. Franklin, Sr. was born on June 6, 1924 in Barbourville, Kentucky to Sally Lewis Franklin and Stanley Franklin. Franklin and his family migrated to Detroit, Michigan in the early 1930s. In 1942, he graduated summa cum laude from Southeastern High School in Detroit, Michigan becoming the second in his family to earn a high school diploma. He enrolled in night classes at the Detroit Institute of Technology in Detroit, Michigan before enlisting in the U.S. Army. While enlisted, he briefly enrolled at Prairie View University in Prairie View, Texas and later received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1949, where he was the recipient of The Bomber Scholarship for WWII veterans. He also received his M.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1953. 

Franklin worked for the Ford Motor Company and attended night school before he enlisted in 1942 into the U.S. Army where he served in World War II. Upon completing basic training at Fort Wayne in Michigan, he was transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Baltimore, Maryland. Subsequently, he entered the Army Specialized Training Program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. After two months, he was transferred to Prairie View, Texas and later to the 92nd Infantry Division in Fort Watauga, Arizona as a French horn player and clerk. He served overseas in Italy and later received an honorable discharge. He returned to the U.S. and finished college on the G.I. Bill. After graduation, he completed his surgical residency at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Unable to obtain a surgical position due to racial discrimination, Franklin returned to Michigan and opened a private practice in Inkster, Michigan in 1958. Over the next three decades, Franklin cared for Inkster’s African American population. He retired in 1989.

Franklin was also a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Franklin and his wife, Arlena Scott Franklin, had five children: Dr. Michael Franklin, Dr. John E. Franklin, Jr., Dr. Paula Franklin, Attorney Renee Franklin Hill, and Dennis Wallace Franklin (deceased at age 9).

Dr. John E. Franklin, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 21, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.114

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/21/2018

Last Name

Franklin

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Barbourville

HM ID

FRA18

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Clearwater, Florida

Favorite Quote

Let's Eat.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

6/6/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Greensboro

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Medical doctor Dr. John E. Franklin, Sr. (1924 - ) owned and operated a private practice in Inkster, Michigan for nearly three decades.

Favorite Color

Black

Dr. Joycelyn Elders

Medical doctor and professor Dr. Joycelyn Elders was born on August 14, 1933 in Schaal, Arkansas to Curtis Jones and Haller Reed Jones. Elders attended Howard County Training School in Tollette, Arkansas in 1942. She earned a four-year scholarship to attend Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas where she received her B.S. degree in biology in 1952. In 1960, Elders earned her M.D. degree and her M.S. degree in biochemistry in 1967 from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1978, Elders earned her certification as a pediatric endocrinologist.

After she earned her M.D. degree, Elders began a pediatric internship at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota. She became the chief resident at the University of Arkansas Medical School in 1963. Elders was hired as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas in 1971 and was promoted to the position of professor in 1976. In 1987, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton appointed Elders as director of the Arkansas Department of Health. She then became the 15th Surgeon General of the United States under President Clinton in 1993. As Surgeon General, Elders focused on women’s reproductive health care and promoted sex, alcohol, drug, and tobacco education in public schools. She resigned from that position in 1994 and returned to the University of Arkansas, where she worked as a professor of pediatric endocrinology. In 2002, Elders retired from the University of Arkansas Medical Center. In 2016, the Jocelyn Elders Clinic was established in Kisinga, Uganda. The clinic served students at Garama Humanist Secondary School, and promoted sex education and treated students that suffered from diseases such as malaria.

During her career, Elders published over one hundred academic papers that related to insulin resistance and other endocrine disorders. In 1997, she published her memoir, From Sharecroppers’ Daughter to Surgeon General of the United States of America.

Elders was the recipient of the Woman of Distinction Award from Worthen Bank in 1987, the Arkansas Democrat Woman of the Year from Statewide Newspaper in 1998, and the Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1991. She was inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2016. Elders also received the Career Development Award from the National Institute of Health. In 2009, The Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education was established at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

In 1992, Elders was elected president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers. She was also a board member for the National Center for Healthy Housing.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 20, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.161

Sex

Female

Interview Date

09/20/2017

Last Name

Elders

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Philander Smith College

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

First Name

Joycelyn

Birth City, State, Country

Schaal

HM ID

ELD01

Favorite Season

Spring and Fall

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Diego

Favorite Quote

Always do your best, that's good enough.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

8/13/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Favorite Food

White Potatoes (Irish potatoes)

Short Description

Medical doctor and professor Dr. Joycelyn Elders (1933- ) served as the 15th Surgeon General of the United States, nominated by President William J. Clinton, and was professor at University of Arkansas for over thirty years.

Employment

Arkansas Department of Health

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Favorite Color

Yellow and Beige