Washington, D.C., July 31, 2008
– Public health lost a great leader this week with the passing of former U.S. Surgeon General Julius B. Richmond. Dr. Richmond, a pediatrician and child development specialist who served as assistant secretary for health and surgeon general from 1977-1981, died July 27 at his home in Brookline, Mass., at the age of 91.
Well known for his work on issues ranging from anti-smoking campaigns to developing quantitative goals for public health, Dr. Richmond’s legacy also lies in his role as one of the founders of Head Start, a comprehensive early-childhood education program that has improved the lives of millions of children.
“Dr. Richmond was truly a visionary. He worked tirelessly for the causes in which he believed and was instrumental in guiding the field of public health to where it is today,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “I join colleagues around the nation in mourning the loss of one of the true greats in our field.”