19th Century Physicians

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Physicians, including H. H. Holmes, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Jose Rizal and Jean Piaget.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur.
4
Famous As: Chemist and Microbiologist
Birthdate: December 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dole, Jura, Franche-Comté, France
Died: September 28, 1895
Considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies, and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. Known as the “father of microbiology,” he also founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris.  

 2 Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming.
4
Famous As: Biologist, Pharmacologist, Discovered Penicillin
Birthdate: August 6, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lochfield, Ayrshire, Scotland
Died: March 11, 1955

Alexander Fleming was a Scottish microbiologist and physician. He is credited with discovering penicillin, the world's first effective antibiotic substance; a discovery that changed the course of history. He also discovered lysozyme, an antimicrobial enzyme which forms part of the innate immune system. In 1999, Fleming was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th century list.

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 3 Ignaz Semmelweis

Ignaz Semmelweis.
4
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: July 1, 1818
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Buda
Died: August 13, 1865

Almost 2 decades before germ theory was laid down, Ignaz Semmelweis became the first physician to suggest that hand-washing could prevent the spread of puerperal fever and related deaths. Ironically, after being ridiculed for his theory, he died in a mental asylum, due to an infection from a wound.

 4 Robert Koch

Robert Koch.
4
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: December 11, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
Died: May 27, 1910

Robert Koch was a German microbiologist and physician. One of the prominent co-founders of modern bacteriology, Koch is credited with creating and improving laboratory techniques and technologies in the field of microbiology. He is also credited with making important discoveries in public health. In 1905, Robert Koch won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on tuberculosis.

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 5 Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell.
4
Famous As: First Woman Medical Graduate
Birthdate: February 3, 1821
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bristol
Died: May 31, 1910

 6 Joseph Lister

Joseph Lister.
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Famous As: Surgeon and Scientist
Birthdate: April 5, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Upton House, West Ham, England
Died: February 10, 1912

British surgeon Joseph Lister was a pioneer of antiseptic medicine usage and made a huge contribution to the development of preventive medicine for bacterial infection. His achievements have been honored by many, such as the makers of Listerine antiseptic and mouthwash, who named their product after him.

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 7 John Snow

John Snow.
4
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 15, 1813
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: York, United Kingdom
Died: June 16, 1858

Best known as the father of modern epidemiology, British doctor John Snow revolutionized medical science with his study of London’s Broad Street cholera outbreak of 1854. His research contributed to the development of London’s sewage and water systems and led to the reduction in cholera cases.

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 8 Paul Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich.
4
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: March 14, 1854
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Strzelin, Poland
Died: August 20, 1915

German scientist Paul Ehrlich is remembered for his contribution to immunology, which also won him a Nobel Prize. Known as the pioneer of chemotherapy, he also discovered the first-known treatment of syphilis. Born into a business family, he was introduced to the method of studying cells by his pathologist uncle.

 9 Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal.
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Birthdate: June 19, 1861
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Calamba, Laguna
Died: December 30, 1896

Jose Rizal was a Filipino polymath and nationalist. An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal turned towards writing and inspired the Philippine Revolution through his writings. The revolution eventually led to Philippine independence and Rizal became a national hero. His life has inspired several biographical films and TV series.

 10 Ivan Pavlov

Ivan Pavlov.
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Famous As: Physiologist
Birthdate: September 26, 1849
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ryazan, Russia
Died: February 27, 1936
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov is best remembered for his research in classical conditioning. He became the first Russian Nobel laureate after winning the 1904 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his study of the physiology of digestion. His experiment on conditioned reflex using dogs is still studied in colleges.

 11 Frederick Banting

Frederick Banting.
4
Famous As: Discoverer of Insulin
Birthdate: November 14, 1891
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Alliston, Ontario, Canada
Died: February 21, 1941

Frederick Banting was a Canadian medical scientist and physician. In 1923, Banting and Scottish biochemist John James Rickard Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of insulin and its therapeutic potential. Aged 32 at that time, Banting remains the youngest Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine. He was knighted by King George V in 1934.

 12 Jean-Martin Charcot

Jean-Martin Charcot.
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Famous As: Neurologist
Birthdate: November 29, 1825
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris
Died: August 16, 1893
French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot is best remembered for his work with hysteria patients. He was also an extraordinary professor and had Sigmund Freud as one of his students. He was one of the first to include photos and drawings as tools for instruction in neurology classes.

 13 Georgios Papanikolaou

Georgios Papanikolaou
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Famous As: Physician, Oncologist
Birthdate: May 13, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kymi
Died: February 19, 1962

 14 Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler.
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Birthdate: February 7, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus
Died: May 28, 1937

Alfred Adler was an Austrian psychotherapist and medical doctor. He is credited with founding the school of individual psychology. He was also one of the founders of the psychoanalytic movement along with Sigmund Freud and Freud's colleagues. In 2002, a survey conducted by Review of General Psychology named Adler among the 20th century's most eminent psychologists.

 15 Rudolf Virchow

Rudolf Virchow.
4
Famous As: Doctor, Anthropologist
Birthdate: October 13, 1821
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Schivelbein, Pomerania, Kingdom of Prussia
Died: September 5, 1902

Rudolf Virchow was a German physician, pathologist, anthropologist, biologist, prehistorian, editor, writer, and politician. Nicknamed the Pope of medicine by his colleagues, Virchow is credited with founding the field of social medicine. He is also widely regarded as the father of modern pathology.  Rudolf Virchow was the first person to name diseases, such as thrombosis, leukemia, ochronosis, embolism, and chordoma.

 16 Harvey Cushing

Harvey Cushing.
3
Famous As: Neurosurgeon
Birthdate: April 8, 1869
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: October 7, 1939

 17 Anandi Gopal Joshi

Anandi Gopal Joshi.
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Famous As: First Indian Female Doctor
Birthdate: March 31, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kalyan, Maharashtra, India
Died: February 26, 1887

 18 Robert Liston

Robert Liston.
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Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: October 28, 1794
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ecclesmachan, West Lothian, Scotland
Died: December 7, 1847

Scottish surgeon Robert Liston worked in an era when anesthesia wasn’t invented. He could complete amputations within minutes, thus saving the lives of many when the speed of the surgery made the difference between life and death. Later, he became the first European surgeon to operate under anesthesia.

 19 Emil Kraepelin

Emil Kraepelin.
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Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: February 15, 1856
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Neustrelitz, Germany
Died: October 7, 1926

The son of a musician, Emil Kraepelin, remembered as the founder of psychiatry, was the first to differentiate between dementia praecox, now known as schizophrenia, and manic-depressive psychosis. His classification of mental illnesses influenced much of the research on the subject in the 20th century.

 20 J. Marion Sims

J. Marion Sims
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Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: January 25, 1813
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lancaster County, South Carolina, United States
Died: November 13, 1883

Known as The Father of Modern Gynaecology, J. Marion Sims is remembered for developing a surgical method to deal with vesicovaginal fistula, a childbirth-related complication. However, since his experiments were conducted on Black slave-women, without anesthesia, they were later deemed unethical. He had also headed the American Gynecological Society.

 21 Mary Edwards Walker

Mary Edwards Walker.
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Famous As: Surgeon, Feminist, Activist
Birthdate: November 26, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oswego
Died: February 21, 1919

Mary Edwards Walker, or Dr. Mary Walker, was the only female surgeon who served injured soldiers during the American Civil War. A dress reform supporter, she believed women should value comfort more than tradition when it came to clothes. She was also the first and only Medal of Honor winner.

 22 Henry Gray

Henry Gray.
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Famous As: Anatomist and surgeon
Birthdate: 1827 AD
Birthplace: Belgravia
Died: June 13, 1861

Best known for his iconic medical textbook Gray's Anatomy, surgeon Henry Gray, who was a skilled anatomist, was made a Fellow of The Royal Society at the tender age of 25. His untimely death at 34 due to small pox, while treating his nephew, cheated him of an illustrious career.

 23 Theodor Morell

Theodor Morell
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: July 22, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Trais
Died: May 26, 1948

Popular with German elite for his unconventional treatment, Theodor Gilbert Morell came in contact with Adolf Hitler through Heinrich Hoffmann. Soon appointed the Chancellor’s personal physician, Morell remained with him for the last nine years of his life, helping him in his every day routine, receiving lucrative business contracts in return. Although arrested after the war, he was never convicted.  

 24 Otto Heinrich Warburg

Otto Heinrich Warburg.
4
Famous As: Physiologist & Physician
Birthdate: October 8, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Freiburg, Baden, German Empire
Died: August 1, 1970

Otto Heinrich Warburg was a German medical doctor and physiologist. In 1931, his discovery of the nature of the respiratory enzyme earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He also played an important role during World War I where he served as an officer in the cavalry regiment; he was honored with the Iron Cross for bravery.

 25 William Stewart Halsted

William Stewart Halsted
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Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: September 23, 1852
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City
Died: September 7, 1922

William Stewart Halsted was the man behind the first American surgical school at the Johns Hopkins University. The master surgeon made a number of contributions to medical science, including the introduction of mastectomy and aseptic surgical procedures. He often injected cocaine into his body to develop anesthesia.

 26 Alois Alzheimer

Alois Alzheimer
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Famous As: Psychiatrist, Neuropathologist
Birthdate: June 14, 1864
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Marktbreit
Died: December 19, 1915

German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer is noted for identifying the first published case of presenile dementia, which his colleague and German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin later identified as Alzheimer's disease.  Alois publicly discussed his findings on brain pathology and symptoms of presenile dementia in late-1906 and penned a larger paper giving details of the disease and his findings in 1907.

 27 Janusz Korczak

Janusz Korczak
4
Famous As: Educationist, Pediatrician, Children's writer
Birthdate: July 22, 1878
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw
Died: August 5, 1942

 28 Hermann von Helmholtz

Hermann von Helmholtz.
3
Famous As: Physicist and Physician
Birthdate: August 31, 1821
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Potsdam
Died: September 8, 1894

A descendant of Pennsylvania founder William Penn through his mother, Hermann von Helmholtz studied medicine, pushed by his father, in spite of being interested in the natural sciences. Best known for his law of conservation of energy, he coalesced the fields of medicine, physiology, math, and physics in his studies.

 29 Wilder Penfield

Wilder Penfield
4
Famous As: Surgeon, Neuroscientist, Neurosurgeon, University teacher, Neurologist
Birthdate: January 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Spokane
Died: April 5, 1976

Neuroscientist Wilder Penfield redefined medical science with his innovative way of treating epilepsy patients through surgery. He would note down his patients’ responses when they would be conscious under local anesthesia. He also founded the Montreal Neurological Institute, but was unable to cure his sister’s brain cancer.

 30 John Bodkin Adams

John Bodkin Adams
3
Famous As: Physician, Serial killer
Birthdate: January 21, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Randalstown
Died: July 4, 1983

Not many suspected physician John Bodkin Adams of being a serial killer till it was revealed that his name had appeared in the wills of at least 132 of his patients who had died, while 163 died in coma. Though never convicted of the killings, he faced punishment for forgery.

 31 Ronald Ross

Ronald Ross.
3
Famous As: Medical doctor
Birthdate: May 13, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Almora
Died: September 16, 1932

Nobel Prize-winning British doctor Ronald Ross is best remembered for his pathbreaking work on malaria, which proved that the disease was caused by the Anopheles variant of mosquitoes. After his extensive research in India, he went back to London, where he was knighted. He also wrote poetry and songs.

 32 Samuel Mudd

Samuel Mudd
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Famous As: Physician, Farmer, Politician
Birthdate: December 20, 1833
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Charles County
Died: January 10, 1883

 33 Norman Bethune

Norman Bethune.
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 4, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gravenhurst, Canada
Died: November 12, 1939

Canadian thoracic surgeon Norman Bethune served as an army physician for the Canadian Army during World War I. He revolutionized medical science by introducing the concept of mobile blood-transfusion. A Communist Party of Canada member, he later served the Chinese army against Japan, becoming a revered name in China.

 34 Walter Reed

Walter Reed
3
Famous As: Military physician, Zoologist, Entomologist
Birthdate: September 13, 1851
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belroi
Died: November 22, 1902

 35 Eduard Bloch

Eduard Bloch
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: January 30, 1872
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hluboká nad Vltavou
Died: June 1, 1945

Jewish doctor Eduard Bloch began his career as a physician for the Austrian Army. He had later treated a young Adolf Hitler and his cancer-stricken mother, charging very little fees owing to their poor financial condition. This act that made Hitler grant Bloch special protection during the Nazi attack on Austria.

 36 Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Santiago Ramón y Cajal.
3
Famous As: Father of Modern Neuroscience
Birthdate: May 1, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Petilla de Aragón, Navarre, Spain
Died: October 18, 1934

While he apprenticed as a cobbler and a barber in childhood, Santiago Ramón y Cajal later took up medicine inspired by his father, a professor of anatomy. Cajal’s study of the microscopic structure of the human brain later formed the basis of neuroscience and earned him a Nobel Prize.

 37 Andrew Taylor Still

Andrew Taylor Still.
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: August 6, 1828
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lee County
Died: December 12, 1917

 38 Hans Christian Gram

Hans Christian Gram
3
Famous As: Physician, Bacteriologist, University teacher, Scientist
Birthdate: September 13, 1853
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Copenhagen
Died: November 15, 1938

 39 Franz Mesmer

Franz Mesmer
3
Famous As: Doctor
Birthdate: May 23, 1734
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Swabia, Germany
Died: March 5, 1815

Though a doctor, Franz Mesmer studied the influence of astronomical bodies on the human body and on an invisible fluid inside it. He was a pioneer of animal magnetism, or mesmerism, which paved the path for modern-day hypnotism. Critics slammed his ideas and called him a fraud, too.

 40 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.
3
Famous As: Mayor of Aldeburgh
Birthdate: June 9, 1836
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Whitechapel
Died: December 17, 1917

The first female doctor and surgeon of Britain, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was initially denied admission to medical schools because of her gender and had thus started studying privately. Soon after joining the Marylebone Dispensary as an attendant, she contributed to the formation of the New Hospital for Women.

 41 Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor
3
Famous As: Missionary
Birthdate: May 21, 1832
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Barnsley, Yorkshire, England
Died: June 3, 1905

Hudson Taylor was one of the most popular Christian missionaries in China. His 51-year stint in China witnessed him baptizing over 50,000 people. Apart from converting people, he also mingled with the Chinese at a personal level, adopting their clothing habits, contrary to what other missionaries practiced.

 42 William Chester Minor

William Chester Minor
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Famous As: lexicographer, linguist
Birthdate: June 22, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sri Lanka
Died: March 26, 1920

William Chester Minor was an army surgeon and lexicographical researcher. He studied at Yale Medical School and earned a medical degree with a specialization in comparative anatomy. He then became an army surgeon. He was later committed to a London psychiatric hospital for many years as he suffered from paranoid delusions. He became a lexicographical researcher while incarcerated.  

 43 Linda Hazzard

Linda Hazzard
3
Famous As: physician
Birthdate: 1867 AD
Birthplace: Carver County
Died: 1938 AD

 44 Howard Florey

Howard Florey.
3
Famous As: Pathologist and Pharmacologist
Birthdate: September 24, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
Died: February 21, 1968

Howard Florey was an Australian pathologist and pharmacologist. He is best remembered for his role in the formation of penicillin, for which he shared the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain in the year 1945. Florey is credited with carrying out the first clinical trial of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1941.

 45 Havelock Ellis

Havelock Ellis.
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: February 2, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Croydon
Died: July 8, 1939

Havelock Ellis co-wrote the first English textbook on homosexuality. Initially a teacher in Australia, he later moved to London to study medicine. His seven-part Studies in the Psychology of Sex is a first-of-its-kind study on human sexuality. He also believed in eugenics and the importance of smell in sexual behavior.

 46 Bidhan Chandra Roy

Bidhan Chandra Roy.
3
Famous As: Political Leader, Physician
Birthdate: July 1, 1882
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bankipore
Died: July 1, 1962

 47 Wong Fei-hung

Wong Fei-hung
4
Famous As: Physician, Acupuncturist
Birthdate: July 9, 1847
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Foshan
Died: March 25, 1924

 48 Immanuel Velikovsky

Immanuel Velikovsky.
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vitebsk
Died: November 17, 1979

Immanuel Velikovsky is remembered for his concepts such as cosmogony. He initially studied medicine and psychology, and later devoted his life to his research on ancient myths and legends, attempting to establish their historical authenticity. In spite of facing the hostility of scientists, his Worlds in Collision became a bestseller.

 49 Gustave Le Bon

Gustave Le Bon
3
Famous As: Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Psychologist, Philosopher, Historian, Sociologist
Birthdate: May 7, 1841
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nogent-le-Rotrou
Died: December 13, 1931

French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon is best remembered for his research on crowd psychology. In his iconic work La psychologie des foules, or The Crowd, he stated that people are driven by their emotions and not by their intellect when they act as part of a crowd.

 50 Max Gerson

Max Gerson
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: October 18, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wągrowiec
Died: March 8, 1959

German-American physician Max Gerson was the proponent of the Gerson Therapy, which began as a diet-based treatment for migraine but ended up being used by him as a treatment for tuberculosis and cancer. Though Gerson died of pneumonia, there was an alternate theory that stated he had been murdered.