Wade Hampton Frost

Wade Hampton Frost (March 3, 1880 – May 1, 1938) was born in Marshall, Virginia. He was the son of a country doctor. Before college, he was first homeschooled by his mother, and then spent the final two years in boarding school.[1] He received his B.A. in 1901 and his M.D. in 1903, both from the University of Virginia.

He was the first resident lecturer at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and was later professor of epidemiology. Frost served as Chair of the Department of Epidemiology from 1919 until 1938 and served as Dean of the School from 1931 until 1934. His work included studies of the epidemiology of poliomyelitis, influenza, diphtheria, and tuberculosis. In 1906, Frost assisted in the first successful arrest of a yellow fever epidemic in the United States. He also helped field investigations regarding typhoid outbreaks and water pollution by applying his knowledge of microbiology laboratory techniques.[2] Frost's personal life is rarely touched on, but one of the presumed reasons that he focused on tuberculosis was because he was diagnosed with incipient pulmonary tuberculosis when he was in his thirties. He had to spend several months in a sanatorium when diagnosed.[1] He is considered the father of modern epidemiology.[3] Frost's bibliography consists of 57 scientific publications.[1]


  1. Comstock, George (2001). "Cohort analysis: W.H. Frost's contributions to the epidemiology of tuberculosis and chronic disease" (PDF). Soz Praventivmed. 46: 7–12. doi:10.1007/bf01318793. PMID 11320915. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  2. Daniel, Thomas (2004). "Wade Hampton Frost, Pioneer Epidemiologist 1880–1938: Up to the Mountain" (PDF). American Journal of Epidemiology. 162: 290–291. doi:10.1093/aje/kwi186. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  3. "Wade Hampton Frost". Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved 15 February 2015.

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