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Louis Sullivan: A Conversation

Dr. Louis Sullivan was a Grady Hospital baby who went on the champion the health and welfare of the whole country. Today he is recognized as one of the nations leading health experts. He sat down with Susan Hoffman for an intimate and inspirational discussion of his life, distinguished career and ideals.


Louis Wade Sullivan was born in Atlanta in 1933 to Lubirda and Walter Sullivan. Raised partly in Atlanta and partly in rural Blakely, Sullivan learned to love education and public service from his mother, a teacher, and his father, an undertaker and community leader.


Sullivan graduated magna cum laude from Morehouse College in 1954 and earned his medical degree, cum laude, from the Boston University School of Medicine in 1958. He completed his internship and residency at New York HospitalCornell Medical Center, specializing in hematology. A distinguished teaching and medical career followed. In 1975, Sullivan returned to Morehouse as the founding leader of the colleges medical program.


In 1989 Sullivan was chosen by U.S. president George H. W. Bush to be secretary of health and human services. He served almost four years in the position, battling the tobacco industry, serving as an advocate for AIDS sufferers and caregivers, and fighting for improved food labeling.


Sullivan returned to Morehouse in 1993, serving as the schools President until he stepped down in 2002. A tireless champion for good health policies, Sullivan is far from retired. He continues to work on a wide variety of health issues at home and overseas.


Watch the Full-Length, Unedited Interview: Recorded on August 24, 2008

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