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 Centennial Flashbacks

Gallery of PAHO Directors

 Dr. Horwitz 1959
1975

Abraham Horwitz was born in Santiago, Chile, on December 25, 1910. An expert on health and nutrition, he had a career in international public health that spanned six decades. In 1936 he received his M.D. degree from the University of Chile, specializing in communicable diseases and public health. He was a Rockefeller Foundation fellow in infectious diseases at the Herman Kiefer Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, from 1942 to 1943 and received a Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1944. He joined the staff of the Pan American Sanitary Organization in 1950 and served in various capacities in Washington, D.C., and in the Organization s field offices. Elected to head the newly named Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in 1958, Dr. Horwitz became its first Latin American director and longest-serving full-time leader, carrying out four consecutive terms. During his 16 years of service, financial resources for health and social development in Latin America increased dramatically, the Organization expanded its budget, staff, and programs, and its impact on the peoples of the hemisphere broadened. In addition, the current home of the Organization was built in Washington, D.C. Several international research centers were established during Dr. Horwitz s tenure. He served as director until 1975, when he became president of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF). He died in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2000, at the age of 89.

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