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Dr. Charles Drew Bio


Dr. Charles Drew Bio
Dr. Drew's Achievements
Racism and Myths
Blood Plasma
Question Submission
External links


Dr. Charles Drew was born on June 3rd, 1904 to Richard and Nora Drew, and was the oldest of their 5 children. During Dr. Charles Drew’s early years he seemed to excel at whatever he attempted. While he attended Dunbar High School in Washington D.C. he won multiple awards in, swimming, football, baseball, basketball and track and field! He excelled so well that he was awarded the James E. Walker Memorial for Dunbar’s best all around athlete. After Dr. Charles Drew graduated Dunbar High school, he attended Amherst College located in Massachusetts to earn more athletic recognition. Charles captained the track team, and won Amherst’s Thomas W. Ashley Memorial trophy in his junior year for being the most prized player on the school’s football team. Before his graduation in 1926 he was awarded the annual Howard Hill Mossman trophy for contributing the most to the school’s athletics during his four years of school.

          After Charles’ graduation from Amherst, he decided to take a position at Morgan State University, located in Maryland, as a biology and chemistry teacher. It was also during this time that he decided on pursuing a career in medicine. So in 1928, he resigned his teaching position to attend McGill University’s Medical School, located in Montreal, Canada. During his time at McGill University he earned two fellowships, his doctorate of medicine and master of surgery degrees. In 1935, he returned to the USA to begin working as a teacher in pathology at Howard University, in Washington D.C., and advanced to become assistant professor of surgery.

          During the loom of World War II, Dr. Charles Drew was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation of Research fellowship in Columbia aiming toward advanced training in all medicine fields. It is though this fellowship that he met Dr. Scudder and Dr. Allen O. Whipple, together they began working on the problem of blood storage. Early 1939, while supervising a blood bank in Columbia Medical Center, Drew created a method for preserving blood plasma in order to travel great distances without spoiling. Within the next year Dr. Charles Drew, graduated from Columbia University with a doctor of Science Degree. While the war was raging in Britain, Dr. Drew was asked to be the medical supervisor by the Blood Transfusion Betterment Association. At the climax of World War II, Nazi warplanes were bombing British cities regularly and there was an extreme shortage of blood to treat the wounded. In order to meet the huge demand for blood, Drew initiated the use of "bloodmobiles" (trucks equipped with refrigerators). After the success of "Blood for Britain," in 1941 Drew became director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank in New York. While in New York Dr. Drew organized a blood drive consisting with over 100,000 donors, for the U.S. Army and Navy. However, when the Military issued the instruction to label all blood by the donor’s race Dr. Drew was shocked and incensed. He refused to label blood type of race since there was no scientific evidence that blood type differed by race.

Without Dr. Charles Drew complying to the Military’s request, he was asked to resign from the project. He returned to Washington D.C. to resume his teachings at Howard University. During his time at Howard University, Dr. Drew trained physicians, residents and medical students. Some of Dr. Drew’s colleagues and students talked him into attending a medical meeting held at Tuskegee Institute as part of its Founders Day Celebration. On the way to the celebration, Dr. Drew fell asleep behind the wheel and overturned the vehicle, which ended his life on March 31st 1950. The World lost an important pioneer of medical history, and will never be forgotten. 


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This site was last updated 12/01/06

This entire website was created by, Mark Mattix