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William McDowall Hammon
Born 1904
Columbus, Ohio
Died 1989-09-19
Seminole, Florida
Residence United States U.S.
Nationality United States American
Fields Physician, virologist, and epidemiologist
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
University of Pittsburgh
Alma mater Allegheny College
Harvard Medical School
Doctoral advisor Hans Zinsser
Known for Polio vaccine pioneer,[1] Tropical diseases

William McDowall Hammon (1904 – 1989-09-19) was an American physician and researcher, best known for his work on poliomyelitis.[2][3] In his early twenties and prior to becoming a research physician, Hammon worked for four years as a medical missionary in the former Belgian Congo. After returning, he received his undergraduate degree from Allegheny College in 1932.[1] Completing his medical training at Harvard Medical School in 1936,[1] Hammon then studied with the bacteriologist Hans Zinsser, receiving a Master of Public Health degree in 1938, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1939.[3] During this period Hammon co-discovered the first vaccine for feline panleucopenia.[4]

Hammon was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1946 by President Harry Truman.



  1. ^ a b c Fowler G (1989-09-23). "Dr. William Hammon Dies at 85; A Pioneer in Fight Against Polio". New York Times.  
  2. ^ "Unsung Hero of the War on Polio" ( – Scholar search). University of Pittsburgh Public Health Magazine: –. 2004.  
  3. ^ a b Rinaldo CR (2005). "Passive immunization against poliomyelitis: the Hammon gamma globulin field trials, 1951-1953". American Journal of Public Health 95 (5): 790–9. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2004.040790. PMID 15855454.  
  4. ^ Enders JF, Hammon WM (1940). "Active and passive immunization against the virus of malignant pan leucopenia of cats.". Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 48: 194–200.  

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