• SSPF

Leonard Pearson | Inducted 1918

First veterinarian in America to use tuberculin to diagnose tuberculosis in cattle.

1868-1909 | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)


Impact & Accomplishments


The first veterinarian in America to use tuberculin to diagnose tuberculosis in cattle was born in Evanston, Illinois. Leonard Pearson graduated from Cornell University before pursuing his veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He studied tuberculosis in cattle in the Berlin laboratory of Robert Koch, returning to the U. S. to accept a teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected dean of the veterinary school in 1897.


Dr. Pearson was appointed state veterinarian in 1896, and he established the Live Stock Sanitary Board of Pennsylvania. He also reorganized the veterinary school, created a farm for experimental work in infectious diseases, and founded the monthly publication, Veterinary Magazine.


Dr. Pearson served as secretary and president of the American Veterinary Medical Association and was chosen to be one of the first men of his field to be inducted into the Saddle & Sirloin Club in 1918. He died unexpectedly, at a young age, in 1909.


Did You Know?


Dr. Pearson studied tuberculosis in cattle in the Berlin laboratory of Robert Koch, who discovered the pathogen that causes tuberculosis. Koch won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1905 for his work on TB. Photo source: The Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Bulloch W. The History of Bacteriology. London: Oxford University Press, 1938.




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