William Herbert Foege
(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.
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......