Jonas Salk

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeA+, December 1996

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From the beginning of mankind, man has looked for cures of illness. Jonas Salk found a

cure for one of the worst illnesses in the history of man, polio. Jonas Salk's polio vaccine

was a great discovery of his time, and it is still being used today to eradicate polio

worldwide. Dr. Salk is also known for other medical discoveries. He was a quiet man

who lived a rough childhood. He was not looking for fame, instead, it found him. During

the time before the vaccine, many people, mostly parents with young children, were very

scared. Dr. Salk's vaccine was a great relief to everyone. Yet, today polio is still affecting

people, even after receiving the vaccine. Just as polio is still around today, so is the flu

virus. Dr. Salk did invent a flu vaccine to help in keeping the flu virus at a low. At this

time, Jonas Salk is working on a vaccine for the most feared disease of today, AIDS.

Jonas Edward Salk was born to Polish-Jewish immigrants, Daniel B. and Dora

Salk, on October 28, 1914. Dr. Salk was born in upper Manhattan, but then moved to

the Bronx where he went to school. 'His first spoken words were, 'Dirt, dirt,' instead of

the conventional, uninspired 'No, no' or 'Momma.' He was a responsive child.' Dr. Salk

was 'raised on the verge of poverty.' Although his family was poor, he did do

exceptionally well in all the levels of education. He graduated from Townsend Harris

High School in 1929 and then went on to the College of the City of New York where he

received his B.S. in 1934. He finally earned his M.D. degree in June of 1939 from the

New York University College of Medicine. Jonas Salk was 'a somewhat withdrawn and...