Dr. Charles Drew

Born in Washington, D.C., Dr. Charles Drew is best known for improving blood storage techniques by developing a process for extracting plasma from red blood cells that allowed blood to be preserved, stored and ready for immediate transfusion. As a young man, he was an outstanding student and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and while attending Amherst College, he was named an All-American as a halfback. After medical school, Dr. Drew’s expertise allowed him to create large-scale blood banks in World War II. In 1941, Dr. Drew became the Chair of Surgery at Howard University. His tremendous work as a physician, medical researcher and strong supporter of blood donation for all, no matter the color of one’s skin, enabled him to receive a great deal of recognition, including becoming the first African American surgeon to serve as an examiner on the American Board of Surgery in 1943. Dr. Drew also received the Springarn Medal in 1944 for his great contributions to the medical field.