Walter Reed

1851-1902 (51 years old)

United States

Year of great discovery/work

Yellow fever was widely thought to be transmitted by inanimate objects like bedding or clothing used by a yellow fever patient. Reed and a team of investigators proved, instead, that yellow fever is caused by the bite of a certain type of infected mosquito. This discovery led to advances in epidemiology, biomedicine and even helped spur the completion of the Panama Canal by allowing for the control and prevention of tropical diseases like malaria and yellow fever.

Did you know?
Many U.S. Army and military medical facilities have been named after Reed.