Julius Richmond, MD, MS (1916-2008)
Dr. Julius Richmond’s talent for diplomacy was exceptional and matched by a genius for advancing public health. During his internship and residency at Cook County Hospital he witnessed the profound impact of poverty on child health. Figuring out how to help the most people in the most cost-effective way was to become Richmond’s lifelong mission.
His three crowning accomplishments in public health, according to pediatrician and author Judith Palfrey, were the founding of the Head Start program, the neighborhood health center movement, and the landmark public policy declaration in 1979, entitled “The Surgeon General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.”In 1971,Richmond was appointed to lead two departments at Harvard Medical School: the Department of Child Psychiatry and Human Development and the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Richmond as the 12th Surgeon General of the United States and Assistant Secretary for Health.