Carl E. Taylor

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Carl E Taylor
Born(1916-07-26)July 26, 1916
DiedFebruary 4, 2010(2010-02-04) (aged 93)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Scientific career
FieldsPublic Health
InstitutionsJohns Hopkins School of Public Health & Future Generations

Carl Ernest Taylor, MD, DrPH (July 26, 1916 – February 4, 2010) founder of the academic discipline of international health who dedicated his life to the well-being of the world's marginalized people.[1] He was the founding chair of the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He was a key contributor to the Alma Ata Declaration. At the age of 88, this energetic man assumed the challenging position as Country Director for the nonprofit organization Future Generations Afghanistan where he led innovative field-based activities until age 90. He has worked in over 70 countries and have students from more than 100 countries. He was sharing this near century-long perspective with his students up until a week before his death.

Early life and education[edit]

Taylor was born in Landour, a small hill station contiguous with Mussoorie in the Western Himalayas. His parents were medical missionaries in the region. He spent his early years assisting his parents with a mobile clinic in the Indian jungles, including the then-extant riverine jungles along the Ganges river, where the river leaves the Himalayas and enters the Gangetic Plain. He came back to the US and earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. After that, he started practising medicine in Panama where he also met and married his wife. They were together for 58 years until she died in 2001.[2]

In 1947, he returned to India and became the director of Fatehgarh Presbyterian Hospital, near Agra. During the Partition of India, he led a medical team helping the local people. He came back to Harvard and completed his DrPH and his dissertation was about the relation between nutrition and infection and it is regarded as a seminal work in this field.[3]

Alma-Ata Declaration[edit]

Taylor was the primary World Health Organization consultant in preparing documents in 1978 for the Alma Ata World Conference on Primary Health Care and was a key contributor to the Alma Ata Declaration. From 1957 through 1983, he advised WHO on a wide range of international health matters. In 1972, Taylor became the founding chair of the National Council for International Health, now known as the Global Health Council. He was also the founding chair of the International Health Section of the American Public Health Association.[4]


After a long fight with prostate cancer, he died on February 4, 2010.[5] He was 93 and still active and he had his last lecture on January 27, 2010, in his favourite course: Case Studies in Primary Health Care at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He is survived by his two brothers, John and Gordon, two sisters, Gladys and Margaret, three children, Daniel, Betsy, Henry, and nine grandchildren.


Taylor published more than 190 peer-reviewed journal articles, books, chapters and policy monographs.[6]

Honors and awards[edit]

In addition to his earned degrees, Taylor received honorary degrees from Muskingum College, Towson State University, China’s Tongji University, Peking Union Medical College and Johns Hopkins University. In 1993, President Bill Clinton recognized him for "Sustained work to protect children around the world in especially difficult circumstances and a life-time commitment to community based primary care.”


With an eight-decade long career in international health, he has influenced thousands around the world. His stories of adventure and service enabled them to believe that they too could create just and lasting change.[7] He continued to teach a course at JHSPH on Primary Health Care with special emphasis on community-based approaches until one week before his death. He has inspired and influenced directly or indirectly many successful community-based health interventions, such as Comprehensive Rural Health Project, Jamkhed and the Home-based newborn care developed by Drs Abhay Bang and Rani Bang among many others.

Videos and pictures[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brown, Theodore M.; Fee, Elizabeth (2011). "Carl E. Taylor, (1916–2010): A Beloved Pioneer in International Health". American Journal of Public Health. 101 (7): 1216. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2010.300036. ISSN 0090-0036. PMC 3110241. PMID 21653247.
  2. ^ "Celebrating the Life of Carl Taylor". Archived from the original on 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  3. ^ "Celebrating the Life of Carl Taylor". Archived from the original on 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  4. ^ Carl Taylor, Founding Chair of International Health Archived October 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Johns Hopkins Public Health News
  6. ^ Faculty page at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
  7. ^ Taylor, Daniel C.; Taylor, Carl E. (2003-04-30). Just and Lasting Change: When Communities Own Their Futures. ISBN 9780801877018.

External links[edit]