“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Downtown in Indianapolis in Marion County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Jonas Salk

(October 28, 1914 - June 23, 1995)

Jonas Salk Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 20, 2019
1. Jonas Salk Marker
Inscription.  Jonas Salk was one of three sons born to Russian immigrants in New York City. Salk was the first person in his family to graduate from college and medical school. Salk spent most of his career as a microbiologist. His most noteworthy achievement was his creation of a vaccine to eradicate polio. Salk earned even more respect when he refused to patent the vaccine to profit from the discovery. He insisted he only wished to see it distributed as widely as possible. Later in his life, Salk focused on developing an AIDS vaccine and traveled across the world promoting world peace.

During medical school, Salk began a year-long internship working on an influenza vaccine.

Salk received his medical degree from New York University and joined Mount Sinai as a staff physician.

Salk accepted a research fellowship in epidemiology, the study of diseases in large populations, at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health.

Salk was appointed director of the Virus Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine and spent
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the next eight years of his work focused solely on eradicating polio.

Watershed Moment

In 1952, Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first effective vaccine for piolmyelitis. On April 12, 1955, Salk became an international hero when he announced a lengthy field trial involving nearly 2 million children — including Salk, his wife and their children — proved his vaccine was effective. Within two years, 100 million vaccines were given across the world and polio was eradicated from every country that used the vaccine.

He established the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, funded in part by the March of Dimes.

President Jimmy Carter awarded Salk with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civil award, for his work on the polio vaccine.
Erected by Cultural Trail Indianapolis.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkEducationScience & Medicine. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #39 James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr., and the Indiana, Cultural Trail Indianapolis series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is April 12, 1955.
Location. 39° 46.612′ N, 86° 9.656′ W. Marker
Jonas Salk Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 20, 2019
2. Jonas Salk Marker
is in Indianapolis, Indiana, in Marion County. It is in Downtown. Marker is on West Walnut Street east of North Capital Avenue, in the median. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 130 West Walnut Street, Indianapolis IN 46204, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt (a few steps from this marker); Albert Einstein (within shouting distance of this marker); Wilbur and Orville Wright (within shouting distance of this marker); Andrew Carnegie (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Booker T. Washington (about 500 feet away); Thomas Edison (about 500 feet away); Mark Twain (about 600 feet away); Susan B. Anthony (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Indianapolis.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 4, 2023. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 172 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Dec. 9, 2023