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"B" is for Banov, Leon

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"B" is for Banov, Leon [1888-1971]. Physician. Public Health Official. Born in Poland, Banov immigrated to Charleston at the age of eight. He received his pharmacy degree from the Medical College of South Carolina and returned to the College and obtained his M.D. In 1920 he was appointed Charleston County's first public health officer and instituted routine medical examinations of schoolchildren, enforced existing laws requiring smallpox vaccinations, and advocated vaccination against typhoid. Charleston had the nation's highest infant mortality rate, an alarming number of TB cases, and incredibly sloppy birth records. Thanks to Banov's tireless efforts, these situations improved dramatically. In 1926 Leon Banov was also appointed Public Health Officer for the City of Charleston and in 1936 combined the city and county offices into one and remained as director until his retirement in 1962.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.