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Gallery of PAHO Directors
Rupert Blue was born in Richmond County, North Carolina, USA, on May 30, 1868. He attended the University of Virginia and earned his M.D. from the University of Maryland in 1892. He began his early career with the Marine Hospital Service (later renamed the U.S. Public Health Service) in 1893. During more than a decade with the U.S. Public Health Service, he oversaw rat eradication and urban sanitation programs in San Francisco after the bubonic plague epidemics of 1902-04 and 1907-08 and the earthquake of 1906. He directed mosquito eradication in New Orleans (1905), at the Jamestown Exposition (1907), and in Hawaii (1911). Dr. Blue was promoted to the position of surgeon in 1909. He represented the United States on sanitation projects in South America and attended the London School of Tropical Medicine in 1910. He was well prepared when President William Howard Taft nominated him to serve as U.S. surgeon general upon the death of Walter Wyman in 1911. Dr. Blue served as U.S. surgeon general from 1912 through 1920. He simultaneously served as chairman of the International Sanitary Bureau. He died on April 12, 1948.
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