Paul Farmer - Humanitarian, Timeline and Childhood

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Paul Farmer's Personal Details

Paul Farmer is an anthropologist and physician who co-founded the health organization - Partners In Health (PIH)

InformationDetail
BirthdayOctober 26, 1959
NationalityAmerican
FamousHumanitarian, Duke University, Harvard University, Anthropologists, Physicians
City/StateMassachusetts
SpousesDidi
SiblingsJeff Farmer
Childrens Catherine, Elizabeth, Sebastian
Universities
  • Duke University,Harvard University
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Hernando High School
  • Harvard University
  • Trinity College of Arts and Sciences
  • Duke University
Notable Alumnis
  • Duke University
  • Harvard University
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Partners In Health(PIH)
Birth PlaceNorth Adams, Massachusetts
GenderMale
Sun SignScorpio
Born inNorth Adams, Massachusetts

// Famous Physicians

Paul Farmer's photo

Who is Paul Farmer?

Paul Edward Farmer is an anthropologist and physician renowned for his efforts to provide the highest quality of medical facilities to impoverished people living in developing countries. He is a humanitarian who believes that human beings, irrespective of where they live have the right to have access to the best quality medical care. A brilliant student in school, he won a full scholarship to Duke University, North Carolina where he took up a course in medical anthropology. At Duke’s he had the fortune of studying under the famed anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss. His concern for the impoverished people began when he started touring the North Carolina tobacco plantations where he observed the pathetic state of Haitian migrant workers. Determined to help the people of Haiti, he co-founded Partners In Health—a non-profit health care organization—which aimed at bringing the benefits of modern medical science to those who really needed them. The organization which was first started in Boston to help Haitians has now become a world wide organization dedicated to the cause of bringing medical facilities to impoverished people. He has written numerous books on medical science and is currently the Kolokotrones University Professor at Harvard University. He has also served as United Nations Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Community-based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti.

// Famous Alumni of Harvard University

Childhood & Early Life

He was born as one of the six children to a salesman and high school teacher in Massachusetts. His father, a “free spirit”, was in the habit of moving his large family frequently.

Paul had an unconventional upbringing and spent most of his childhood in an old school bus which his father had converted into a mobile home. He became aware of the wider world and its problems due to the family’s frequent traveling.

His parents instilled in their children a love for serious literature and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Over the years he would acquire the skill of learning new languages with ease.

He excelled academically at the Hernando High School and was elected the president of his senior class. He earned a full scholarship to Duke University in North Carolina where he took a course in medical anthropology. While at the university he was deeply influenced by the writings of the 19th century German physician and scientist Rudolf Virchow.

While at Duke he became fascinated with the lives of the Haitian migrant workers at the nearby tobacco plantations. He was intrigued by them and their country and began learning all he could about Haiti, including the Creole language.

He later attended Harvard University from where he earned an MD and a PhD in medical anthropology.

Career

He went to Haiti in 1983 when the country was going through a very difficult time under the dictatorship of the Duvalier family. At that time the poor were having a horrible time accessing medical resources. The facilities for training local doctors and nurses were also very poor. Farmer found his calling there—he made it his life’s purpose to do something for Haiti’s impoverished.

With the help of a Haitian priest, Father Lafontant and a young English woman, Ophelia Dahl, who had come to Haiti as a medical volunteer, he founded a community based health project called the Zanmi Lasante. He opened Clinique Bon Saveur, a small two room clinic in Cange, Haiti, in 1985.

Owing to political tensions Haiti’s dictator fled the country in 1986. At around this time AIDS was gaining epidemic proportions in urban slums. The suffering of the people propelled Farmer to do more for them.

In 1987, Farmer collaborated with Ophelia Dahl and a former Duke classmate, Todd McCormack to found the Partners In Health (PIH) in Boston. Dahl served as the President and Executive Director while the philanthropist Tom White contributed a million dollars in the seed money. Harvard medical student Jim Yong Kim soon joined them.

Farmer launched a program in Boston to deal with rising rates of HIV and tuberculosis in Haiti. He also served as an attending specialist on the senior staff at Birmingham. He regularly went to Haiti and remained there whenever he could.

By the 1990s, Zanmi Lasante in Haiti developed into a big hospital with modern facilities serving more than 150,000 people. Farmer’s innovative methods helped to treat infectious diseases in a very cost effective manner.

The MacArthur Foundation recognized his efforts with a $220,000 grant in 1993 which Farmer used for starting a research program, the Institute for Health and Social Justice in PIH.

The new millennium saw higher rates of vaccination, lower rates of infant mortality and malnourishment in the Zanmi Lasante area. The organization which also implemented programs for women’s literacy and AIDS prevention became a global model for healthcare; its methods of AIDS control were adopted by the World Health Organization in 30 countries.

The former U.S. President Bill Clinton made Farmer the Deputy UN Special Envoy for Haiti in 2009, a role he served in till 2012.

Major Works

His biggest contribution to humanity is the co-founding of the health organization Partners In Health (PIH)—Zanmi Lasante is a Haitian sister organization. The organization aims to deliver the benefits of modern medical facilities to the poorest and sickest of people, especially those living in impoverished countries.

Awards & Achievements

He was awarded Austin College Leadership Award ($100,000) in 2007 which he in turn donated to PIH.

He received the S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen by the Jefferson Awards in 2010.

Personal Life & Legacy

He is married to Didi Bertrand, a Haitian-born anthropologist. The couple has three children.

// Famous Humanitarian

Paul Farmer awards

YearNameAward

Other

2005 - Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize
- MacArthur Foundation Genius Award

Paul Farmer biography timelines

  • // 26th Oct 1959
    He was born as one of the six children to a salesman and high school teacher in Massachusetts. His father, a “free spirit”, was in the habit of moving his large family frequently.
  • // 1983
    He went to Haiti in 1983 when the country was going through a very difficult time under the dictatorship of the Duvalier family. At that time the poor were having a horrible time accessing medical resources. The facilities for training local doctors and nurses were also very poor. Farmer found his calling there—he made it his life’s purpose to do something for Haiti’s impoverished.
  • // 1985
    With the help of a Haitian priest, Father Lafontant and a young English woman, Ophelia Dahl, who had come to Haiti as a medical volunteer, he founded a community based health project called the Zanmi Lasante. He opened Clinique Bon Saveur, a small two room clinic in Cange, Haiti, in 1985.
  • // 1987
    In 1987, Farmer collaborated with Ophelia Dahl and a former Duke classmate, Todd McCormack to found the Partners In Health (PIH) in Boston. Dahl served as the President and Executive Director while the philanthropist Tom White contributed a million dollars in the seed money. Harvard medical student Jim Yong Kim soon joined them.
  • // 1993
    The MacArthur Foundation recognized his efforts with a $220,000 grant in 1993 which Farmer used for starting a research program, the Institute for Health and Social Justice in PIH.
  • // 2007
    He was awarded Austin College Leadership Award ($100,000) in 2007 which he in turn donated to PIH.
  • // 2009 To 2012
    The former U.S. President Bill Clinton made Farmer the Deputy UN Special Envoy for Haiti in 2009, a role he served in till 2012.
  • // 2010
    He received the S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen by the Jefferson Awards in 2010.

// Famous Anthropologists

Paul Farmer's FAQ

  • What is Paul Farmer birthday?

    Paul Farmer was born at 1959-10-26

  • Where is Paul Farmer's birth place?

    Paul Farmer was born in North Adams, Massachusetts

  • What is Paul Farmer nationalities?

    Paul Farmer's nationalities is American

  • Who is Paul Farmer spouses?

    Paul Farmer's spouses is Didi

  • Who is Paul Farmer siblings?

    Paul Farmer's siblings is Jeff Farmer

  • Who is Paul Farmer childrens?

    Paul Farmer's childrens is Catherine, Elizabeth, Sebastian

  • What was Paul Farmer universities?

    Paul Farmer studied at Duke University,Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, Hernando High School, Harvard University, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University

  • What was Paul Farmer notable alumnis?

    Paul Farmer's notable alumnis is Duke University, Harvard University

  • Which company or organization was founded by Paul Farmer?

    Paul Farmer was the founder/co-founder of Partners In Health(PIH)

  • What is Paul Farmer's sun sign?

    Paul Farmer is Scorpio