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African American Scientists

Charles R. Drew (1904-1950)

Charles Drew

Image Credit: Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine and Howard University. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Charles R. Drew Papers.

  • American surgeon known as the "Father of the blood bank" for his role in organizing and administering large scale blood bank during World War II
  • Drew dedicated much of his time to raising medical education standards and training for black physicians and surgeons at Howard University
  • Prior to attending med school, Drew taught biology and chemistry at Morgan College in Baltimore, and as athletic director, transformed their football and basketball teams into champions
  • Drew was accepted into McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal Quebec and received an MD and Master of Surgery in 1933.
  • He began his work at Howard University in 1935, where he served in various leadership roles throughout his career. 
  • Began study and work at Columbia University in 1938, culminating in a Doctorate in Medical science for his blood banking research
  •  In 1941, Drew was appointed Assistant Director of the first American Red Cross Blood Bank 
  • Received NAACP's Spingarn Medal for work on blood plasma projects in 1944