William Foege

William Foege

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William Foege

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William Herbert Foege), M.D., M.P.H. (born 1936 in Decorah, Iowa) is an American epidemiologist who is credited with "devising the global strategy that led to the eradication of smallpox in the late 1970s".

Foege also "played a central role" in efforts that greatly increased immunization rates in developing countries in the 1980s.

His book, House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox (ISBN 978-0520268364) was published in June 2011.

Early life

Foege was born 12 March 1936 in Decorah, Iowa. He was the third of six children born to William A. Foege, a Lutheran minister, and Anne Erika Foege. The family lived in Eldorado, Fayette County, Iowa, starting in 1936 and moved to Chewelah, Washington, in 1945.

In his younger days he was inspired by the life of his uncle, a Lutheran missionary to New Guinea. He became interested in science at age 13 when working at a pharmacy, and read extensively about the world (e.g., Albert Schweitzer's work in Africa) while in a body cast for several months at age 15.


Foege received a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran......
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