The Biography of Dr LaSalle D Leffall Jr, an American surgeon, and oncologist who significantly contributed to cancer research and treatment.
He was born on May 22, 1930, in Tallahassee, Florida, to LaSalle D. Leffall, Sr. and Ruth Covington Leffall. Dr. Leffall passed away on May 25, 2019, at 89.
This biography offers a glimpse into the life of Dr LaSalle D Leffall Jr.
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Education and Early Career of Dr LaSalle D Leffall Jr.
Dr. Leffall attended Florida A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1950.
He then attended Howard University College of Medicine, receiving his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1952.
After completing his residency at Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., Dr. Leffall became the first African American surgical intern at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City in 1957.
Contributions to the Field of Cancer Research
Dr. Leffall was a pioneering surgeon and researcher focused on cancer treatment and education.
In 1970, he became the first African American to be named president of the American Cancer Society.
Being the first African American to chair a surgery department at a predominantly white medical institution in 1970, he was appointed chairman at Howard University College of Medicine’s surgery department.
Dr. Leffall was particularly interested in cancer in African American patients and worked to improve cancer education and prevention in underserved communities.
He was a founding member of the Minority Affairs Committee of the American College of Surgeons, established to address the underrepresentation of minorities in medicine.
He also co-founded the National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer, which aimed to reduce the burden of cancer in African American communities through education, research, and advocacy.
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Honors and Awards
Dr. Leffall received much recognition throughout his career for his contributions to medicine and cancer research.
In 1995, he was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton, the second-highest civilian honor in the United States.
He also received the National Medical Association’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, in 2002.
He was elected president of the American College of Surgeons in 2005, becoming the first African American to hold that position.
Legacy of Dr LaSalle D Leffall Jr.
Dr. Leffall’s legacy in medicine and cancer research is significant.
He worked tirelessly to increase access to cancer education and treatment for underserved communities, and his efforts helped to reduce cancer disparities among African Americans.
He also inspired generations of medical students, many of whom credit him with their decision to pursue a medical career.
Dr. Leffall’s contributions to cancer research and education continue to impact medicine.
His dedication to improving cancer outcomes for all patients, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, inspires future physicians and researchers.
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Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr. was a pioneering surgeon and oncologist who significantly contributed to cancer research and treatment.
He became the first African American to chair a surgery department at a predominantly white medical institution.
He was a member of the Minority Affairs Committee of the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Leffall’s work focused on cancer education and prevention, particularly in underserved communities, and he inspired generations of medical students with his dedication to improving cancer outcomes for all patients.
His legacy in medicine and cancer research has a lasting impact.