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David Satcher

David Satcher

16th Surgeon General of the United States
In office
February 13, 1998 – August 5, 2002
Preceded by Audrey F. Manley
Succeeded by Richard Carmona

Born March 2 1941 (1941-03-02) (age 71)
Anniston, Alabama, USA
Political party Democratic

David M. Satcher (b. March 2, 1941) was the 16th Surgeon General of the United States from 1998 to 2002 and the Assistant Secretary for Health from 1998 to 2001. He was the first African American male to serve as Surgeon General.


Early years and career

Dr. Satcher was born in Anniston, Alabama. He graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1963 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1970 with election to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He did residency/fellowship training at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, UCLA, and King-Drew. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Preventive Medicine, and the American College of Physicians. Dr. Satcher is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated.

Dr. Satcher has served as professor and Chairman of the Department of Community Medicine and Family Practice at Morehouse School of Medicine from 1979 to 1982. He is a former faculty member of the UCLA School of Medicine and Public Health and the King-Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he developed and chaired the King-Drew Department of Family Medicine. From 1977 to 1979, he served as the Interim Dean of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School, during which time, he negotiated the agreement with UCLA School of Medicine and the Board of Regents that led to a medical education program at King-Drew. He also directed the King-Drew Sickle Cell Research Center for six years.

As Surgeon General

Dr. Satcher served simultaneously in the positions of Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health from February 1998 through January 2001 at the US Department of Health and Human Services. As such, he is the first Surgeon General to be commissioned as a four-star Admiral in the PHSCC, to reflect his dual offices. He also held the posts of Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from 1993 to 1998.

Dr. Satcher was appointed by Bill Clinton, and remained Surgeon General until 2002, contemporaneously with the first half of the first term of President George W. Bush's administration. In 2001, his office released the highly controversial report, The Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior. The report was hailed by the chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians as an overdue paradigm shift—"The only way we're going to change approaches to sexual behavior and sexual activity is through school. In school, not only at the doctor's office." However, conservative political groups denounced the report as being too permissive towards homosexuality and condom distribution in schools.

Post-Surgeon General

Upon his departure from the post of Surgeon General, Dr. Satcher became a fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation. In the fall of 2002, he assumed the post of Director of the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Before joining the Administration, he was President of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, from 1982 to 1993.

On December 20, 2004, Dr. Satcher was named interim president at Morehouse School of Medicine until Dr.John Maupin , former president of Meharry Medical College assumed the current position on 26 February 2006.

Awards and honors

Dr. Satcher is a former Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and Macy Faculty Fellow. He is the recipient of many honorary degrees and numerous distinguished honors, including top awards from the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and Ebony magazine. In 1995, he received the Breslow Award in Public Health and in 1997 the New York Academy of Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, he received the Bennie Mays Trailblazer Award and the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

He is also an avid jogger and enjoys tennis, gardening, and reading. He and his wife, Nola, have four grown children.


  • This article was originally based on public domain text written by the U.S. government.


  • Dr. Satcher Interview on Healthcare as a Civil Rights Issue with Al Sharpton and Dr. V on
Preceded by
Audrey F. Manley
Surgeon General of the United States
February 13, 1998–August 5, 2002
Succeeded by
Richard Carmona
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "David_Satcher". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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