Dr. Julius Youngner


Age: 96

virologist whose nearly fatal childhood bout of lobar pneumonia led him to become a medical researcher and a core member of the team that developed the Salk polio vaccine in 1955 who was the last surviving member of the original three-man research team assembled by Dr. Jonas Salk (died 1995) at the University of Pittsburgh to address the polio scourge, which peaked in the U.S. in the early 1950's when more than 50,000 children were struck by it in one year (three other assistants later joined the group), but Salk credited his six aides with major roles in developing the polio vaccine during a landmark advance in modern medicine, which he announced on April 12, 1955 that the vaccine had proved up to 90 per cent of effective in tests on 440,000 youngsters in 44 states and whose announcement was greeted with ringing church bells and openings of public swimming pools that was previously drained for fear of contagion when annual cases of the paralyzing disease had declined from 14,000 to fewer than 1,000 within six years after polio had been virtually eliminated in developed nations by 1979.

Cause of Death: Natural causes

Born: October 24, 1920

Died: April 27, 2017

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania