Solomon Carter Fuller

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Solomon Carter Fuller
Born August 11, 1872 [1]
Monrovia, Liberia [1]
Died January 16, 1953(1953-01-16) (aged 80)
Framingham, Massachusetts [1]
Alma mater Boston University School of Medicine (M.D., 1897)
Occupation physician, psychiatrist
Known for work in the field of Alzheimer's disease
Spouse(s) Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller
Parents Solomon C. Fuller
Anna Ursilla (James) Fuller

Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller (1872–1953) was a pioneering African-American psychiatrist who made significant contributions to the study of Alzheimer's disease.

Early life and education[edit]

Fuller was born in Monrovia, Liberia. His paternal grandfather. John Lewis Fuller, had been a slave in Virginia who bought his and his wife’s freedom and moved to Norfolk, Virginia and then emigrated to Liberia in 1852 to help establish a settlement of African Americans.[1]

His father was a coffee planter and an official in the Liberian government. His mother, Anna Ursala James, whose parents were physicians and missionaries, set up a school to teach her son and area children. Fuller's early education also included studies at the College Preparatory School of Monrovia.[2]

He had a keen interest in medicine since his maternal grandparents were medical missionaries in Liberia. He came to the United States to study at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina graduating in 1893. Later he attended Long Island College Medical School.[1]

He graduated with an MD in 1897 from Boston University School of Medicine, which as a homeopathic institution was open to both African-American and women students. He pursued further research at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Munich, Germany studying under Emil Kraepelin and Alois Alzheimer.[3]


He spent the majority of his career practicing at Westborough State Mental Hospital in Westborough, Massachusetts. While there, he performed his ground-breaking research on the physical changes to the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

When the Veterans Administration opened the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center after World War I with an entirely black staff, Fuller was instrumental in recruiting and training black psychiatrists for key positions. In the early 1970s, the American Psychiatric Association established a Solomon Carter Fuller award lecture at its annual meetings.

Personal life[edit]

For most of his life, Fuller lived in nearby Framingham, Massachusetts, with his wife, the famous sculptor Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller. They had three children.[1]


The Dr Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center located at 85 E Newton Street in Boston is named after him. It forms part of the Boston Medical Center, the primary teaching affiliate for Boston University School of Medicine.



  1. ^ a b c d e f Heung, Camille, "Fuller, Solomon Carter (1872-1953)",
  2. ^ "Bio: Solomon Fuller",
  3. ^ Keith A. P. Sandiford, A Black Studies Primer: Heroes and Heroines of the African Diaspora, Hansib Publications, 2008, p. 179,

Further reading[edit]

  • W. Montague Cobb. “Solomon Carter Fuller (1872-1953),” Journal of the National Medical Association 46(5) (1954).
  • John Potter, “Solomon Carter Fuller.” Doctors, Nurses and Medical Practitioners: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook pp. 116–119, Lois N. Magner, ed. (Westport: (Greenwood Press, 1998).
  • Lucy Ozarin, M.D., "Solomon Carter Fuller: First Black Psychiatrist", Psychiatric News September 6, 2002, Volume 37, Number 17, p. 19.
  • Mary Kaplan,"Solomon Carter Fuller: Where My Caravan Has Rested", University Press of America, 2005.
  • Mary Kaplan and Alfred R. Henderson, “Solomon Carter Fuller, M.D. (1872-1953): American Pioneer in Alzheimer’s Disease Research,” Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 9:3 (2000)
  • Carl C. Bell, “Solomon Carter Fuller: Where the Caravan Rested,” Journal of American Medical Association 95:10 (2005)
  • Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1982)
  • G. James Fleming and Christian E. Burckel, eds., Who’s Who in Colored America (New York: Christian E. Burckel & Associates, 1950).

External links[edit]