Oswaldo Cruz

Oswaldo Cruz

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Oswaldo Cruz

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For the neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, see Oswaldo Cruz . For the neighborhood in São Paulo, see Osvaldo Cruz.

Oswaldo Gonçalves Cruz, better known as Oswaldo Cruz (; August 5, 1872, São Luís do Paraitinga, São Paulo state, Brazil – February 11, 1917, Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro state) was a Brazilian physician, bacteriologist, epidemiologist and public health officer and the founder of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute.

He also occupied the 5th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters from 1912 until his death in 1917.

Early years

Oswaldo Gonçalves Cruz was born on August 5, 1872 in São Luis do Paraitinga, a small city in São Paulo State, to the physician Bento Gonçalvez Cruz and Amália Bulhões Cruz. Still a child, he moved to Rio de Janeiro with his family. At the age of 15 he started to study at the Faculty of Medicine of Rio de Janeiro and in 1892 he graduated as medical doctor with a thesis on water as vehicle for the propagation of microbes. Inspired by the great work of Louis Pasteur, who had developed the germ theory of disease, four years later he went to Paris to specialize in Bacteriology at the Pasteur Institute, which gathered the great names of this branch of science of that time. He was financed by his father-in-law, a wealthy Portuguese merchant.

Work in Brazil

Cruz found the seaport of Santos ravaged by a violent epidemic of bubonic plague that threatened to reach Rio de Janeiro and engaged himself immediately in the combat of this disease. The...
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