Dr. Howard Markel

About

Dr. Howard Markel writes a monthly column for the PBS NewsHour, highlighting the anniversary of a momentous event that continues to shape modern medicine. He is the director of the Center for the History of Medicine and the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan.

He is the author or editor of 10 books, including “Quarantine! East European Jewish Immigrants and the New York City Epidemics of 1892,” “When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America Since 1900 and the Fears They Have Unleashed” and “An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine.”

's Recent Stories

Health Feb 06

Was Charles Dickens the first celebrity medical spokesman?

This Feb. 6, we celebrate Charles Dickens, the novelist and literary superstar of his day. He may well have been the first celebrity spokesman for a medical charity. The cause was London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and it first…

Health Dec 10

The story behind Alfred Nobel’s spirit of discovery

Every Dec. 10 for the past 114 years, the eyes of the world have turned to Stockholm, Sweden, where the Nobel Prizes are formally awarded to the brilliant men and women who have made exemplary inroads in Medicine or Physiology,…

Health Nov 30

No, Oscar Wilde probably didn’t die of syphilis

The long-held theory was that Oscar Wilde succumbed to the ravages of end-stage syphilis. Fortunately, a London neurologist and two ear surgeons from South Africa have spent considerable time poring over Wilde’s medical and prison records to propose an entirely…

Health Oct 02

When a secret president ran the country

All during September of 1919, President Woodrow Wilson became thinner, paler and ever more frail. Unfortunately, the president refused to listen to his body. He had too much important work to do.

Health Aug 02

The ‘strange’ death of Warren G. Harding

At 7:20 p.m. on the evening of Aug. 2, 1923, President Warren G. Harding’s wife, Florence, was reading the “Saturday Evening Post” to him in the presidential suite of San Francisco’s Palace Hotel. The article in question was about Mr.

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