Posted on April 11, 2020
Today's famous birthday - born in London on this date in 1755 - was a geologist, paleontologist, surgeon (doctor), apothecary, writer, and political activist.
In his many political pamphlets, he went to bat for social reforms like universal suffrage (letting everyone, men/women, people of all races and ethnicities, vote!). But that's not what he's best known for.
He wrote about ruptured appendix - some of the earliest descriptions of this medical problem. But that's not what he's best known for.
He crusaded for the rights of the mentally ill. But that's not what he's best known for.
He collected specimens of fossils and led parties of fossil collectors, and attended the very first meeting of the Geological Society of London. But that's not what he's best known for.
He wrote about paralysis agitans, or shaking palsy; his careful observations led to some ideas about possible causes.
And THAT's what he is known for, because the condition he described has been named for him: Parkinson's disease.
|Boxer Muhammed Ali and actor Michael J. Fox|
are two people who suffered (Ali) and still suffer (Fox)
from Parkinson's...and took the time to educate others
about the disease and to advocate for victims of the disease.
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