Obituary: End Of An Era: Polio Vaccine Pioneer Jonas Salk Dies

Colleagues remember Jonas Salk for carrying the courage of his scientific conviction.

Neeraja Sankaran
Jul 23, 1995

Millions of people around the world probably best recognize the name of Jonas Salk - who died at age 80 of congestive heart failure on June 23 in La Jolla, Calif. - as that of the discoverer of the first successful polio vaccine. But various scientists and physicians say that they will remember the pioneering researcher in equal measure for his passion and vision in everything he undertook.

Jonas Salk AHEAD OF HIS TIME: Colleagues remember Jonas Salk for carrying the courage of his scientific convictions.


Referring to Salk's work both with the polio vaccine and, in later years, with the AIDS vaccine, Donald Francis, formerly an official of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and now a clinical scientist at Genentech Inc. in South San Francisco, Calif., avows, "Jonas was - in his own words - a change agent ahead of his time.

"He had a wonderful spirit...

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