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Joseph Goldberger: Forgotten Hero of Common Health

William B. Bean, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(3):319-322. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870090003001.
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If we exclude James Lind, it would be hard to name any physician working in the field of nutritional disorders who made more fruitful contributions than did Joseph Goldberger. Funk, Bontius, Williams, Hess, and Park, and then all the chemists come to mind. Furthermore, Goldberger had to wage a campaign against entrenched opposition of established physicians, and not especially in the Southern states where pellagra was rampant during the early decades of the 20th century. The traditional conservative is bitter indeed as every innovator from Paracelsus to Semmelweiss and Lister learned to their sorrow.

It was my rare good fortune to be working as a clinical novice in the field of human deficiency disease in Cincinnati and Birmingham during the late 1930's and early 1940's. At this time endemic and secondary pellagra were still important economic, medical, and social problems. It was just at the right time when biochemists were


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