In Memoriam

David Marshall French (1924-2011)

David M. French, a former Howard University professor of pediatric surgery and former head of the department of community medicine at the Boston University Medical School, has died from a pulmonary embolism in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was 86 years old.

Dr. French was one of the founders of the Medical Committee for Human Rights, an organization that provided medical care to civil rights marchers throughout the South. He used a Dodge camper as a moving clinic to provide care to marchers who were injured or attacked.

A native of Toledo, Ohio, French attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He was drafted into the Army during World War II and was assigned to pick cotton to make uniforms at a post in Texas. After the war he used the G.I bill to study medicine at Howard University. He later earned a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. French also established Strengthening Health Delivery Systems, an organization that trained health care workers and set up clinics in 20 African nations.