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History of Medicine Finding Aids

Paul B. Cornely Papers 1918-1999 (bulk 1953-1999)
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Biography

Biographical Note

A native of Guadaloupe, French West Indies, Paul Bertau Cornely (1906-2002) received the bulk of his education at the University of Michigan. He followed his Bachelor's degree in 1928 with an M.D. in 1931. Nineteen thirty four marked the year he earned his Ph.D. in Public Health at Michigan and began a long career at Howard University. He taught at the Howard School of Medicine from 1934 until his retirement in 1973. During that period, Cornely distinguished himself both through achievement at the university and his tireless work for the development of more comprehensive public health coverage to the chronically underserved. In addition to teaching, he headed Howard's Department of Bacteriology, Preventive Medicine & Public Health, chaired the Department of Community Health Practice, directed the Student Health Services and served as director of the University Hospital. Beyond the university, Dr. Cornely was a founder of the National Student Health Association in 1939, president of the Physician's Forum in 1954, and founder and first president of the District of Columbia Public Health Association in 1962. In 1970 he served as the American Public Health Association's first black president. For the almost 30 years after his retirement until his death, Cornely continued to work actively with organizations devoted to the implementation of public health measures.