Special Note: During the Month of October, American Pharmacists Month, we will be highlighting historical and present pharmacy figures who have contributed significantly during the profession.
Contributed by: Dustin Washington
Hubert Humphrey was born on May 27, 1911 in South Dakota and later died January 13, 1978 in Minnesota. He was most commonly known as the 38th vice president of the United States along side democratic party President, Lyndon B. Johnson. Hubert served also as a Liberal leader in the United States Senate. When looking into Hubert’s childhood and relationship to pharmacy, we can most likely say it may have originated from his father, Hubert Humphrey Sr.. Hubert’s father was a pharmacist and owned his own family drug store in South Dakota at which the time Hubert spent many years working. After studying the field of pharmacy and working at his dad’s drug store, Hubert left for college to study at the University of Minnesota. After receiving his bachelors there in 1939, he later did some graduate work at Louisiana State University. Hubert would soon return to Minnesota to teach college and serve as campaign manager for president Franklin D. Roosevelt. One of those most important years in Hubert’s life would have been in 1944, where he was elected into the United State Senate. He would then serve here for the next 16 years of his life. As a senator he developed quite a reputation for himself. Hubert was known more so as having a “do-gooder” personality and known to be very outspoken competent parliamentary leader. (Which I assume you would have to be to be a senator). Hubert was recognized greatly for his attributions to gain support for the Civil Rights Act, as well as the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.
Once Hubert was elected vice president under Lyndon B. Johnson, his commonly known reputation as the “do-gooder” was soon slightly succeeded by a more traditional/ old-fashioned appearance. “As vice president he served as chairman of the National Advisory Council of the Peace Corps, coordinator of the antipoverty program, and chairman of the Civil Rights Council, and he worked with Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act and Medicare.” These as we know today are very prominent programs. Medicare is huge part of insurance for those who are 65 and older regardless of income or history. At the time before Humphrey’s contribution to medicare, over 65% of those individuals who were 65 or older had health insurance that was either not affordable or unobtainable. Since then we have also seen Medicare expand to younger individuals with disabilities such as End Stage Renal Disease. It is leaders like Humphrey’s to whom we can thank for such services and contributions to further benefit the health of our citizens in the United States.