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Frederick F. Russell Papers 1898-1958
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Biography

Biographical Note

Frederick Fuller Russell (1870-1960) was born in Auburn, New York. He received his Doctor of Medicine from Columbia University in 1893 and his Doctor of Science from George Washington University in 1917. In 1898 he was commissioned as first lieutenant in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army.

It was during his time in the Medical Corps that he began his research into the inoculation of soldiers against typhoid. In 1908 Surgeon General O'Reilly sent Russell to England to observe the work of Sir Almorth Wright, Professor at the Royal Army Medical College, who had been experimenting with a method of prophylaxis with killed culture of typhoid organisms to immunize against the disease. Upon Russell's return he submitted a report on Wright's research, which O'Reilly considered as "a very valuable treatise on the epidemiology of this disease."

As a result of the report Russell was assigned the duty of implementing an immunization program within the U.S. Army. In 1910 he inoculated his first group of volunteers and by 1911 vaccination became compulsory. From a morbidity of 173 cases in 1910, Russell was able to reduce the total to nine cases in 1912 with only one death.

During his career he served as curator of the Army Medical Museum, instructor in the Army Medical School, and professor of pathology and bacteriology at George Washington University. In addition, he served on various investigating boards, one of which he was able to advise and offer technical counsel to Carl Darnall in the development of a water filter for field use and the first water chlorinator using gaseous chlorine.

After his resignation from the US Army Medical Corps in 1920, Russell returned to the rolls as a reserve officer and in November of 1921 was appointed Brigadier General of the Medical Officers Reserve Corps. Following his military career he served as the director of the International Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation. As director, Russell continued his research into public health focusing on diseases such as yellow fever. He spent the final years of his career in medical science and administration as professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health from 1936 to 1939.

Fredrick Fuller Russell died on December 29, 1960.