61. Jonas Salk: The Man who Cured the World

During the early part of the 20th Century, was considered one of the greatest health threats the United States of America. Polio was a disease that took its victim's lives, or left with major disabilities. In 1952, the U.S. suffered of its harshest epidemics of polio in its . More than 58,000 cases of polio were reported year, and 3,145 people lost their lives. Additionally, than 21,000 people suffered some form of paralysis ranged from mild paralysis to extreme cases where became disabled. Dr. Jonas Salk is responsible for that plague.

Born in New York City on 28, 1914, Jonas Salk grew up in modest . His parents were not wealthy, but they were to put food on the table, and maintain roof over their children's head. Salk demonstrated great success from childhood. By the age of 13, was enrolled into a school for gifted children. was considered a perfectionist by his peers, and academically in a very competitive environment. In college, opted to go into medical school even though mother wanted him to become an attorney. After from medical school, Salk began his research on , which was considered a scourge of western society.

had baffled medical science since its discovery in mid-19th Century. When Salk turned his attention to disease, there was little hope that anyone could an adequate cure. Salk developed his vaccine in early 1950s, and in April of 1955, his was heralded in newspapers across the country. Salk a national hero. His vaccine effectively ended the epidemic in the United States and many countries the world.