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1957 Horatio Alger Award Winner

John J. Sheinin*

Chicago Medical School

"As an immigrant, I have always loved this country for its opportunities that abound for all."

Following the Russian Revolution after World War I, John J. Sheinin fled to the United States. He faced hardship and danger throughout the journey and was nearly shot by a firing squad. He arrived in the United States penniless and unable to speak English. He worked as a factory laborer in New York until he moved to Alabama. With only $4 to his name, he managed to enter Alabama State University and secured work with a local sign painter. In spite of considerable language difficulty, Sheinin was an outstanding student. He was admitted to medical school and later recommended to a teaching research fellowship at Northwestern University. While completing work for his M.D. and Ph.D., he painted signs, worked at night in a hospital, studied, and taught. Eventually, Sheinin became dean of the unaccredited and financially struggling Chicago Medical School. He made such outstanding improvements to the school that under his direction, it received full accreditation from both the American Medical Association and the Association of Medical Colleges. This was unique in medical history, for all other unapproved schools were closed.

* Deceased