Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey


Age: 101

Summary: Canadian-born newly-appointed medical officer at the U.S. Federal Drug Administration in 1960 who had saved newborn American babies from monstrous birth deformities caused by thalidomide (a drug then widely used in Europe and alsewhere to combat morning sickness in pregant women) by refusing to rubber-stamp the approval of a new sedative, but who had been troubled by some data on the drug's safety and was held out until in late 1961 when the terrible evidence poured in after thalidomide was causing thousands of babies in Europe, Britain, Canada, and the Middle East to be born with flipper-like arms and legs and other defects, whose vigilance gave rise to modern laws regulating pharmaceuticals.

Cause of Death: Unspecific causes

Born: July 24, 1914

Died: August 7, 2015

London, Ontario, Canada