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Henry Kumm was born in Wiesbaden, Germany and emigrated to the United States as a young man. He graduated with a S.B. from Haverford College in 1921. Kumm received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1925 and interned for 1 year at the Peking Union Medical College in China. He decided on a career in tropical medicine and public health taking a D.T.M.H. in 1927 from the Conjoint Board of England and a Dr.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in 1928. Joining the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation for Medical Research in 1928, Kumm’s first assignment was Nigeria. In the next 23 years, he traveled to such places as Brazil, Panama, Italy, Jamacia and Costa Rica conducting studies and surveys of yellow fever and malaria. Kumm took a leave of absence in 1950 to study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health as a special student . In 1951, he resigned from the Rockefeller Foundation to accept a position as assistant director of research at the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. He conducted field trials in the study of gamma globulin and the Salk vaccine and became the director of research in 1954. Rejoining the Rockefeller Foundation in 1959, Kumm retired as an associate professor in 1964.

Scope and Content

The Henry W. Kumm Collection consists of two manuscripts entitled, “Far Flung and Often, The Story of a New American Family,” written by Kumm and his wife, A. Joyce Kumm in 1980. The book documents the story of a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and School of Public Health graduate, whose choice of a career in tropical medicine, takes his growing family to many different countries and cultures. The book provides interesting personal context to a Hopkins graduate’s career choices and celebrates the triumphs of his American emigre family.

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