"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Monday, June 21, 2021

Jonas Salk

This bronze bust of Jonas Salk (1914-1995) is a 1966 cast after the 1959 original by Edmond Romulus Amateis. It stands in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

Jonas Salk built his career on developing vaccines against influenza and polio. In the 1940s he helped revolutionize immunology by developing vaccines that did not expose recipients to the disease itself. In 1947, as America confronted a polio epidemic, Salk turned to finding a vaccine for the disease, reporting successful results by 1953; by 1955 the Salk vaccine was in widespread use and dramatically diminished the impact of polio, especially among children. Salk never claimed a patent for the vaccine, asking “Could you patent the sun.”  -- NPG

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