Jonas Edward Salk was a dedicated scientist who worked hard, invented the polio vaccine, and basically saved the whole U.S. from despair. He was born on October 28, 1914, in New York City. His parents were Daniel and Dora Salk, who were Jewish and raised their son to be the same way. During his childhood years, Jonas was not interested in science. He was merely interested in things human, like the human side of nature, and what humans thought like. When he was in college, he really admired biochemistry, and was given the opportunity to switch from medicine to biochemistry. In the end, he remained with bacteriology, which was now his first primary interest, that had now replaced medicine. Salk didn’t just want to help one single patient, he wanted to help all of humankind.
During the time of the polio epidemic of the 1900s, Jonas Salk was hard at work with figuring out how to cure this frightening health problem. The 1900s was a very life-threatening time with sicknesses and diseases still spreading around a lot. The 1952 U.S. epidemic was the worst in U.S> history, with about 58,000 children and parents struck with the horrible paralytic disease. About every summer, the horrible plague set over the cities, devouring and killing everyone in its path. Families were frightened, kids too scared to go play outside. The whole America was in shock and misery because of this deadly monster. That’s why scientists were racing to find what the cure was, and how to find it fast.
Jonas Salk was one of those scientists, racing to find the cure. All they wanted was for this sad era to be over, and done with. So, Salk decided to study, study, study, and study. He studied at many different universities such as the New York University School of Medicine, University of Michigan, and many more places. IN 1948, he took a project to try and discover how many different types of polio viruses there were. He was granted a large laboratory and was sponsored with a lot of money, considering people were very afraid of this deadly virus. By 1955, the lab Salk was working for had $67 million dollars!! For the first year of his research he gathered supplies and other scientists to help him with the polio vaccine.