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The page of Holmes, Oliver Wendel, English biography

Image of Holmes, Oliver Wendel
Holmes, Oliver Wendel
(Oliver Wendel Holmes, Sr)


Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (August 29, 1809 – October 7, 1894), was an American physician, professor, lecturer, and author. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table published in 1858.
He is also recognized as an important medical reformer.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Holmes was educated at Harvard College. After graduating from Harvard in 1829, he briefly studied law before returning to the medical profession. He began writing poetry at an early age; one of his most famous works, "Old Ironsides", was published in 1830
He taught at Dartmouth Medical School before returning to teach at Harvard and, for a time, served as dean there. During his long professorship, he became an advocate for various medical reforms and notably posited the controversial idea that doctors were capable of carrying puerperal fever from patient to patient. Holmes retired from Harvard in 1882 and continued writing poetry, novels and essays until his death in 1894.

For his literary achievements and other accomplishments, he was awarded numerous honorary degrees from universities around the world.

(Editor of this page: Főfai Sándor)

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