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Dr. Louis W. Sullivan

Federal cabinet appointee and college president Dr. Louis Wade Sullivan was born on November 3, 1933 in Atlanta, Georgia to Lubirda Priester and Walter Wade Sullivan. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School, Sullivan received his B.S. degree in biology from Morehouse College in 1954. He went on to receive his M.D. degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1958, completing his residency at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.

In 1960, Sullivan began a pathology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, before working at Boston City Hospital and studying hematology at the Thorndike Laboratory. He was hired as co-director of hematology at Boston University Medical Center in 1966; and, in 1967, he founded the Boston University Hematology Service. In 1975, Morehouse College Medical Education Program was founded and Sullivan returned to Atlanta to serve as its first dean, teaching biology and medicine and founding the Medical Education Program at Morehouse College. The Morehouse School of Medicine became independent from Morehouse College in 1981, with Sullivan as its president and dean. In 1988, President George H.W. Bush appointed Sullivan to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. He returned to Morehouse School of Medicine in 1993 as president, retiring from the position in 2002.

In 1976, Sullivan helped found the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools to promote a national minority health agenda; and, in 1999, he hosted the public television show “Frontiers of Medicine.” In 2003, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the White House initiative on historically black colleges and universities advisory committee. He also served as chairman of the National Health Museum and on the boards of United Therapeutics, Emergent BioSolutions, General Motors, Cigna, and Equifax.

Sullivan has received more than sixty honorary degrees, including an honorary M.D. degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He received the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases in 2008 and his autobiography received the NAACP Image Award for Literature in 2015.

Sullivan and his wife, E. Ginger Williamson Sullivan, have three children: Paul, Shanta, and Halsted.

Dr. Louis Wade Sullivan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 21, 2002 and August 17, 2019.

Accession Number

A2002.028

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/21/2002 |and| 11/6/2004 |and| 11/29/2004

3/21/2002 |and| 11/6/2004 |and| 11/29/2004 |and| 8/17/2019

8/17/2019

Last Name

Sullivan

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Boston University School of Medicine

Booker T. Washington High School

Morehouse College

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Louis

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

SUL01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

All, and Medical, Business, Scientific and Governmental Groups

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $10,000+

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: $5000-25000
Preferred Audience: All, and Medical, Business, Scientific and Governmental Groups

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

We can do it.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/3/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Federal cabinet appointee and college president Dr. Louis Wade Sullivan (1933- ) served as founding dean and president of Morehouse School of Medicine, and as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services from 1988 to 1993.

Employment

Thorndike Memorial Laboratory Boston City Hospital

New Jersey College of Medicine

Boston University Medical Center

Morehouse College School of Medicine

United States Department of Health and Human Services

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

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