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Sigard Adolphus Knopf Papers 1879-1940
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Biographical Note

S. Adolphus Knopf (1857-1940) was a pioneer in the campaign for research and treatment of tuberculosis, and spent his entire career combating the disease. His landmark work Pulmonary tuberculosis: its modern prophylaxis and the treatment in special institutions and at home, was the first text book of its kind to appear in English, and won the Alvarenga Prize of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1899. His article "Tuberculosis as a disease of the masses and how to combat it," received the International Congress Prize in 1900. Knopf received numerous other awards for his essays and articles on combating the disease. As part of his public health work, Knopf traveled the world, lecturing on preventative techniques and working to help establish sanitaria, special hospitals, dispensaries, open-air schools and anti-tuberculosis associations. In 1902, he was one of the men responsible for the movement that launched the Committee on the Prevention of Tuberculosis of the Charity Organization Society of New York City. The aim of the committee was to disseminate information that TB was a communicable, preventable, and curable disease. The Committee advanced the movement for hospitals, sanatoriums, and dispensaries for consumptive adults and children. As a result of his focus on the need for a national TB association, in 1904 a voluntary health agency was organized under the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, later renamed the National Tuberculosis Association (NTA) and now known as the American Lung Association. Knopf was the author of over 400 books, brochures, and articles of tuberculosis, school hygiene, pneumonia, medical biography, birth control, alcoholism, and other medical and social subjects.

Brief Chronology

1857Born halle an der Saale, Germany, November 27, 1857
1888M.D., Bellevue Hospital Medical College (New York University)
1889Married Perle Nora Dyar (d. Dec. 24, 1931)
1890A.B., University of Paris (Sorbonne)
1895M.D., Faculty of Medicine, University of Paris
1898Alvarenga Prize. College of Physicians, Philadelphia
1899Published the essay Tuberculosis as a disease of the masses, and how to combat it for which he received International Tuberculosis Congress prize in 1900
1901Official delegate. Tuberculosis Congress, London
1904Advocated the formation of a national tuberculosis association; instrumental in founding of the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis
1904-10Associate Director of the New York Municipal Tuberculosis Clinics
1904-23Physician, Riverside Hospital-Sanatorium
1905Official delegate. Tuberculosis Congress, Paris
1906-22Senior Visiting Physician of the New York City Health Department
1908Vice President. Sect. V of Tuberculosis Congress, Washington. Received prize for the essay, The relation of atmospheric air to tuberculosis
1908-20Professor of Phthisiotherapy, New York Post-Graduate Medical School
1913Official delegate, 4th International Congress on School Hygiene, Buffalo
1920Tuberculosis specialist, U.S.P.H.S.
1932Representative of the United States at the International Union against Tuberculosis, The Hague, Holland
1935Married Julia Marie Off
1940Died in New York, July 15, 1940