William Augustus Hinton

(1883-1959) William Augustus Hinton was born on December 15, 1883 in Chicago, IL. After completing the premedical program at the University of Kansas one year ahead of schedule he went on to earn a B.S. degree from Harvard University in 1905.

Hinton became a world renowned expert in the diagnosis and treatment of syphilis. In 1927, he developed diagnostic test for syphilis, later known as the Hinton test, which was eventually endorsed by the U.S. Public Health Service. He served as an instructor and lecturer at Harvard before being promoted to rank of clinical professor.

Hinton was then the first black person to become a professor at Harvard Medical School. In 1936, Hinton published Syphilis and Its Treatment (New York: The Macmillan Company), the first medical textbook by a black American.

(Biography adapted from Brown, Mitchell, Faces of Science: African-American in the Science 1996 and from PBS "Partners of the Heart".)

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