On this day in Alabama history: Arthur McKinnon Brown was born

On this day in Alabama history: Arthur McKinnon Brown was born
Arthur McKinnon Brown (1867-1939) was a surgeon during the Spanish-American War and later served as the president of the National Medical Association, a professional organization for African-American surgeons headquartered in Birmingham. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives and History)

November 9, 1867

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, on this day in 1867, Arthur McKinnon Brown graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1891 with special qualification in surgery. While at Michigan, Brown had heard about the difficulty of Alabama’s grueling medical exam and decided to test himself against it. He moved to Birmingham and took the exam administered by the Jefferson County Medical Board and made the highest score recorded to that date. He opened a practice in Bessemer, moved to Cleveland during a national economic collapse, but returned to Alabama the following year and settled in Birmingham. Brown and his second wife Nellie became prominent members of Birmingham’s African-American community. He helped start the Children’s Home Hospital, the only facility in the city open to black doctors. Brown died on Dec. 4, 1939.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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