Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Jonas Salk Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 1
Mandeville Special Collections
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
Language of Material:
316.1 Linear feet
(573 archives boxes, 38 card file boxes, 13 records cartons, 76 art bin items, and 176 oversize folders)
Date (inclusive): 1926 - 1991
Papers of a noted physician, virologist, humanitarian, and founder of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego,
California. Salk is best known for his development of the world's first successful vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis,
licensed in the U.S. in 1955. He has also conducted important research in the prevention and treatment of influenza, multiple
sclerosis, cancer, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The Salk Papers constitute an exhaustive source of documentation
of Dr. Salk's professional activities, but very few materials relating to his personal life can be found in the collection.
Most of the papers cover the period from the mid-1940s to the early 1980s. Best documented are Dr. Salk's activities from
the mid-1950s to the early 1960s -- activities largely related to the development of the Salk polio vaccine. The papers include
general correspondence, files relating to polio, subject files, writings by Dr. Salk, photographs, artifacts, and research
materials. Also included in the collection are materials created by Dr. Salk's laboratory staff members and papers generated
by offices of the Salk Institute. Additions to the Jonas Salk Papers processed in 1995 primarily document Salk's fundamental
role in the revival of the live versus killed polio-vaccine debate in the mid 1970s and 1980s. Also included in this accession
are materials related to the internal affairs of the Salk Institute, dated 1982-1989, files that document the work of the
San Diego Growth Management Task Force put together in 1984 by Mayor Roger Hedgecock, materials related to Salk's interest
in developing a vaccine for HIV, and files pertaining to Salk's advisory role on a broad range of committees and foundations.
The papers include a large correspondence series, polio subject files, writings by Dr. Salk, reports, research materials,
Salk, Jonas, 1914-
Scope and Content of Collection
ACCESSION PROCESSED IN 1989
This collection constitutes an exhaustive source of documentation of the professional activities of Dr. Jonas Salk. Because
of Dr. Salk's prominence in the spheres of applied and basic science, medicine, and human affairs, the collection contains
correspondence, writings and related materials concerning a diverse range of persons and public issues of the late 20th century.
Very few materials relating to Dr. Salk's personal life can be found in the collection. Although some of the materials date
from the 1920s and 1930s, most of the papers cover the period from the mid-1940s to the early 1980's. Best documented are
Dr. Salk's activities from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s -- activities largely related to the development of the Salk polio
vaccine and the establishment of the Salk Institute. Also included in the collection are materials created by Dr. Salk's laboratory
staff members and papers generated by offices and staff of the Salk Institute.
ORGANIZATION OF THE COLLECTION
In general, the original order of the materials has been retained. The General Correspondence remains in its original order:
grouped by year, and thereunder alphabetically by name of correspondent. This order makes the tracing of correspondence with
one particular individual difficulty.
Although the subject of polio permeates the entire collection, Dr. Salk's staff created a separate series of materials relating
specifically to this subject. This separate series was probably created after 1955, when polio-related issues may have consumed
a large percentage of staff time. Although it is possible that materials in this series were pulled from other files, the
UCSD Library decided to retain the series intact due to the difficulty in determining the origin of the materials, and due
to the importance of the series for evidential purposes.
In some cases the original order of the collection has been altered, but only when logically necessary and logistically possible.
Thus the subject files, which were originally grouped with correspondence from each year, are now combined into one alphabetical
sequence. Materials generated from internal activities of the Salk Institute, although originally filed with yearly correspondence,
are now combined with other Salk Institute files into a separate series.
As in the case of the Salk Institute files, many series within the Salk Papers have been formed around the provenance of the
materials. Thus, those laboratory records maintained by individual members of Dr. Salk's staff remain separate (Files of Others
series). Although items in these separate groups relate directly to items elsewhere in the collection, combining these related
items would have violated the provenance of the materials.
SERIES 1: GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, 1940-1984
The GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE begins with correspondence logs. These logs were begun in 1977 and list every piece of correspondence
received by Dr. Salk's office. Note that many of the materials listed in these logs are not included in the collection. Those
that are retained in the collection may be filed by correspondent or related subject, as described below.
The correspondence files are arranged by year, and thereunder alphabetically by the last name of the correspondent or by the
name of the organization. Thus, if one wishes to research all correspondence between Dr. Salk and an individual, one must
search each year for the individual correspondent. This filing arrangement -- the original order maintained by Dr. Salk's
office -- has been retained for its evidential value and out of convenience. This original order reveals the volume and scope
of Dr. Salk's correspondence, and shows how issues and events unfolded within each year. In rare instances, correspondence
is filed according to the subject to which it pertains. For example, correspondence relevant to Dr. Salk's visits to Israel
and India is filed under the names of these countries, not by individual correspondents.
In most cases, copies of replies to letters are attached to the original letters. In 1963 Dr. Salk's office began a Chronological
File consisting of copies of all outgoing correspondence. Missing from these files is the period September 1963 through December
It is important to note that the GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE files are not the sole location of correspondence. Often, correspondence
related to a specific subject will be filed in the SUBJECT FILES, the POLIO series, or in other series throughout the papers.
The following are materials of interest located in the GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE series, filed by year and correspondent/organization:
1941, Francis: Correspondence between Jonas Salk and Dr. Thomas Francis, in which Salk seeks advice on the direction of Salk's
career and studies.
1947, McEllroy: Descriptive outline of the polio research program conducted by Dr. Salk at the University of Pittsburgh
1955, Dubovik: Telegram regarding fear of mass polio inoculations
1955, Eisenhower: Letter from Dr. Salk to President Dwight D. Eisenhower
1955, National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis: Copies of speech by Dr. Salk on 9-11-55
1955, O'Connor: Correspondence between Dr. Salk and Basil O'Connor
1955, Warner: Telegram from Warner Bros. Motion Picture Studios suggesting movie of Dr. Salk's life
1956, Barton: Tribute to Dr. Salk from school children
1956, Fuller: Letter from R. Buckminster Fuller 1956, Davidson: Letter from U.S. Senator Irwin Davidson, who introduced bill
to award Congressional Gold Medal to Dr. Salk
1956, Truman: Letter from former President Harry S. Truman 1957, Fuller: Letter from R. Buckminster Fuller with copy of poem
dedicated to Dr. Salk entitled "A Comprehensive Anticipatory Science of Design"
1957, Hemingway: Letter from Leicester Hemingway, brother of Ernest
1957, Keller: Letter from Helen Keller
1957, Pauling: Correspondence with Linus Pauling regarding an open letter to American scientists on the halt of nuclear testing
1958, Baudovas: Envelope addressed simply "Dr. Salk, USA" successfully delivered
1958, Freedom Fund: Essay on freedom by Dr. Salk
1958, Gutman: Envelope addressed to "Dr. Salk, the famous conqueror of polio, USA"
1958, Oppenheimer: Telegrams to/from Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer
1958, Roosevelt: Letter from Eleanor Roosevelt
1958, Sabin: Correspondence with Dr. Albert Sabin
1959, American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Telegram from Dr. Roger Revelle regarding world security and nuclear arms
1959, Turner: Excerpt of speech by Dr. Salk upon award of Congressional Gold Medal
1960, Harriman: Letter from W. Averell Harriman
1960, Israel: Letter from Abba Eban
1960, Urey: Letter from Dr. Harold C. Urey
1961, Cleary: News article regarding the Salk/Sabin vaccine controversy and the A.M.A.
1961, Conover: Same subject as above
1961, Public Health Service: Publicity materials from immunization campaign, including poster and buttons
1961, Urey: Letter from Dr. Urey to U.S. President expressing opposition to passage of McCarran Internal Security Act
1962, Metro Goldwyn Mayer: Request to use Dr. Salk's name in "Dr. Kildare" movie
1965, Spock: Letter to Dr. Benjamin Spock from Dr. Salk regarding the Vietnam War
1966, Doyle: Useful background material regarding the Salk Institute
1966, Meselson: Draft letter handwritten by Dr. Salk regarding the situation in Vietnam
1967, Sioussat: News clipping which mentions Dr. Salk saving a drowning boy in 1953
1969, Moses: Article in 1968 Medical World News regarding Dr. Salk and the Salk Institute
1969, Lavin: Article in 1969 Scientific Research regarding the Salk Institute
1969, New York Sunday News: Interview with Dr. Salk
1970, Nixon: Draft letter handwritten by Dr. Salk to President Richard M. Nixon urging an end to the Vietnam War
1977, Kissinger: Letter from Dr. Henry Kissinger
SERIES 2: POLIO
The POLIO series contains materials related to the development, testing and distribution of the Salk poliomyelitis vaccine.
Most of this activity took place in the period 1950 through 1962. This series represents the chronicle of a landmark medical
event. The investment of time and toil on the part of Dr. Salk and his support staff is reflected in these documents. Included
in the Polio series are the following subseries:
General Correspondence: A diverse array of communications, including correspondence between Dr. Salk and members of the medical
and pharmaceutical communities. Includes some personal correspondence, notably a letter from Marlene Dietrich, dated 1954,
requesting the Salk vaccine for her grandchildren.
Conferences and Meetings: Reports, minutes of meetings and related documents of various groups working on the polio problem.
Materials relevant to the Fourth International Polio Conference in Geneva, 1957, are notable. NFIP/NIH Vaccine Advisory Committee
meeting of 4-12-55 contains an original report of the landmark polio field trials of 1954.
Fan Mail: The 1955 announcement of the success of the Salk vaccine field trials generated an enormous wave of public approbation
and adulation of Dr. Salk. Letters and telegrams of congratulation and thanks poured in to Dr. Salk's office from around the
world. The bulk of this material is dated 1955, and it is organized according to the original arrangement, e.g., letters from
children, letters from foreign countries, telegrams, et cetera. Documents of interest in these files include telegrams from
Marlon Brando, Helen Hayes and Dr. Salk's former mathematics teacher, all filed under "Telegrams." A telegram from Juan Peron,
president of Argentina, is filed in "Letters in Foreign Languages". The size of this body of correspondence, and the tone
in which it is written, attest to the impact that the Salk vaccine had on the public.
Newspaper Clippings re: Polio ca. 1916: Scrapbook of news articles describing the toll of the polio epidemic in America ca.
SERIES 3: SUBJECT FILES
This series contains a diverse collection of subjects reflecting the wide range of Dr. Salk's interests, projects and correspondents.
These files encompass the period ca. 1940 through 1983. Files are arranged alphabetically by name of subject or individual.
Files of notable interest include:
Influenza: During World War II and the decade that followed, Dr. Salk served as consultant to the Secretary of War, and served
on the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board's Commission on Influenza. Dr. Salk conducted studies on Influenza viruses and vaccines
in laboratories at the Universities of Michigan and Pittsburgh and field studies at military bases, public service camps and
prisoner of war camps in the United States. These records are incomplete and often sketchy, but a picture emerges from them
of a coordinated effort, with diverse participants working to unlock the mysteries of virus disease transmission and prevention.
Quite touching in their sincerity are the statements written by conscientious objectors who participated in field trials at
Camp Wellston in Michigan. The major strength of this series is its presentation of a different perspective of war and medical
Metabiology: In the 1970s Dr. Salk applied his knowledge of biological systems to the study of human evolution and survival
in the modern world. In this area of concern, termed "Metabiology," Dr. Salk's work posed questions and proposed solutions
regarding contemporary issues, including population growth and control, international tension, and the values and ethics appropriate
for the development of an interdependent world. In this Metabiology file, one will find documents by Dr. Salk and others addressing
the issues involved with this area of concern. References to Dr. Salk's books Man Unfolding and Survival of the Wisest are
integral to this file. Additional materials related to Metabiology can be found in the Subject File "Organizations" under
"Epoch B Foundation."
Multiple Sclerosis: In the 1970s Dr. Salk conducted a study on the use of myelin basic protein in M.S. patients. Additional
research examined the nature of M.S. to determine whether it could be classified as an autoimmune disease similar to experimental
allergic encephalomyelitis, which is manifested in animals. These files provide evidence of hope on the part researchers,
patients and the public in finding a cure.
SERIES 4: WRITINGS, LECTURES, AND INTERVIEWS
This series begins with a file of Dr. Salk's publications, arranged in the numerical order established by his staff. This
order is essentially chronological, and the materials are mostly reprints of articles that appeared in professional and scientific
journals. Many of these articles were originally presented orally at conferences and other events.
The subseries "Lectures, Speeches, and Other Oral Presentations" is organized chronologically and contains materials relating
specifically to those presentations. Some of oral presentations, which were later published, also appear with the numbered
Of special interest in the Writings series is a group of notes by Dr. Salk, mostly handwritten. One notebook, dated 1957-1958,
includes some of Dr. Salk's ideas for the future Salk Institute.
The subseries "Miscellaneous Writings" includes, among other things, materials relating to the establishment of the Salk Institute,
including a transcript of Dr. Salk's 1960 appearance before the San Diego City Council. The Council was then considering the
gift of city-owned land to the future Institute. Also included here is Dr. Salk's piece titled "A Proposed Institute," also
dating from 1960.
SERIES 5: PHOTOGRAPHS AND OTHER IMAGES
Included in this series is an important visual record of Dr. Salk's career, including the development and introduction of
the Salk vaccine. Here can be found a large group of photographs of the University of Pittsburgh Virus Research Laboratory
and the Laboratory's staff.
Some photographs of Dr. Salk's laboratory at the Salk Institute can be found in this series, but most photographs of the Institute
are filed in the Salk Institute Files.
The subseries "Photographs of Dr. Salk at Award Presentations..." contains materials relating to many of the awards found
in the series Awards. Some of Dr. Salk's remarks at the presentation of these awards and at other ceremonies can be found
in the Writings series.
Included with photographs of the 1977 Medal of Freedom presentation is a signed letter from President Jimmy Carter. Other
autographs included in the Photographs series are those of Eleanor Roosevelt (in "Dr. Salk with Others," 1960, January), President
Ronald Reagan (in "Dr. Salk with Others," 1983, January 13), and Dr. Thomas Francis (in "Miscellaneous Photos," 1949).
SERIES 6: SALK INSTITUTE FILES
As Founding Director and Fellow of the Institute, Dr. Salk maintained files relevant to Institute affairs, events and issues
covering the period circa 1957 to 1983. This series provides an example of the successful establishment and development of
a large, independent research facility. Chronicled in these files is the growth of the Institute, from concept to concrete
This series can be conceived of as part of the Archives of the Salk Institute. Most of the materials were generated through
Dr. Salk's activities as Founding Director and Fellow of the Institute. However, the subseries "Files of Officers and Subunits"
contains materials created by units other than Dr. Salk's office.
Within the subseries "Files of Officers and Sub-units," materials from different units of the Institute are filed separately.
However, many files from one unit relate directly to files in other units. Thus information on the Hammer Cancer Center can
be found in the files of Dr. "Hammer Cancer Center."
Some useful files pertaining to the development of the Institute include:
Organizational Materials: Reflects the evolution of the concept of the Institute. Includes related notes by Dr. Salk.
Trustees: Records the selection and recruitment of the Board of Trustees, together with correspondence and minutes of meetings.
Fellows: Contains correspondence and other documents relevant to the projects and affairs of the Institute's Fellows, including
such luminaries as Leo Szilard, Jacob Bronowski and Francis Crick. Much of this material has been designated Confidential.
Access is restricted.
Files of Officers and Sub-units:
Building Fund: Documents the massive, nation-wide campaign to raise funds for the Institute. Contains publicity materials,
donor lists, and letters.
Charles Wilson: Documents Wilson's work in making the initial arrangements for establishment of the Institute.
Photographs: Preserves a visual record of the physical growth of the Institute. While few in number, these photos graphically
depict the construction of an imposing edifice designed by eminent architect Louis Kahn. They also chronicle the transformation
of an untouched parcel of City of San Diego land into the site of a modern institution. Aerial photos from 1960 reveal the
natural state of the region now developed into the UCSD campus and the La Jolla Farms residential area. Photograph of Dr.
Salk's laboratory at the Institute can be found in the series Photographs.
Some of Dr. Salk's writings about the Institute can be found in the WRITINGS series.
SERIES 7: FILES OF OTHERS
These materials were created or collected by members of Dr. Salk's laboratory staff. Most of the materials relate to polio
research, although some concern influenza and cancer studies.
Of special note in this series are materials collected by Dr. L. James Lewis relating to his communications with Dr. Salk.
These include notes of personal conferences and staff meetings, and personal memos given to Dr. Lewis by Dr. Salk. These materials
reveal something of the day-to-day activities in the Salk lab during the development of the polio vaccine. Additional personal
memoranda from Dr. Salk can be found in the files of Francis Yurochko.
SERIES 8: AWARDS, HONORS AND CERTIFICATES
Many of the materials in this series reflect the immense outpouring of world-wide gratitude that resulted from the development
of the polio vaccine and from Dr. Salk's other humanitarian endeavors. Of special note are the scrolls signed by thousands
of mothers and children in Argentina.
Also included in this series are many personal documents from Dr. Salk's life and career, including his various diplomas.
The AWARDS series is organized by genre, and thereunder chronologically. Photographs relating to the presentations of some
of these awards can be found in the series PHOTOGRAPHS AND OTHER IMAGES.
SERIES 9: MISCELLANY
Of curiosity here are two of Dr. Salk's dictating machines from the late 1950s and 1960s, complete with records (all blank).
Also found in MISCELLANY are card indexes to articles written by others. The actual reprints which these cards refer to are
not included in the collection.
SERIES 10: RESEARCH MATERIALS
Included here are files of data collected in Dr. Salk's many research projects. Of artifactual interest are a number of research
notebooks kept by Dr. Salk in the 1940s.
Many of the data files in this series relate directly to materials in the FILES OF OTHERS series.
ACCESSIONS PROCESSED IN 1995
The Jonas Salk Papers processed in 1995 primarily document Salk's fundamental role in the revival of the live versus killed
polio-virus debate in the mid 1970s and 1980s. Included in the collection are the letters he wrote to the American Medical
Association, the Center for Disease Control, the Institute of Medicine, the U.S. Congress, members of the media, and other
influential sectors of society in an attempt to convince them that the oral live polio vaccine did indeed cause paralytic
polio and that the killed vaccine was a safe and effective alternative. Also included are materials related to the inception,
creation and eventual distribution of the enhanced inactivated polio vaccine or E-IPV. The Merieux Institute of France, the
Connaught Laboratories in Canada, and the Rijks Institute in the Netherlands were the developers of this vaccine, and Salk
worked extensively with these laboratories. Salk's collaboration with the Central Public Health Laboratory in Finland on the
studies that tracked the incidence of polio in Finland, and his role in the lawsuits filed by victims of vaccine-induced polio
are also well documented in this accession.
The accession also includes some material not related to the live versus killed polio vaccine debate. For instance, there
are some materials related to the internal affairs of the Salk Institute, dated 1982-1989, files that document the work of
the San Diego Growth Management Task Force Group put together in 1984 by Mayor Roger Hitchcock and materials related to Salk's
other interests and activities, most notably, his interest in developing a vaccine for HIV (see the WRITINGS series) and his
advisory role in a broad range of different committees and foundations (See the Societies and Advisory Groups subseries).
The collection occupies 34 linear feet and is arranged in 10 series: 11) CORRESPONDENCE, 12) WRITINGS AND LECTURES, 13) POLIO
SUBJECT FILES, 14) CONFERENCES, 15) SAN DIEGO GROWTH MANAGEMENT TASK FORCE MATERIALS, 16) SALK INSTITUTE FILES, 17) NEWSPAPER
CLIPPINGS, INTERVIEWS AND EPHEMERA, 18) AWARDS, 19) PHOTOGRAPHS, and 20) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
SERIES 11: CORRESPONDENCE
The eleventh series, CORRESPONDENCE, is arranged in seven subseries: A) General Correspondence, B) UCSD Correspondence, C)
Societies and Advisory Groups, D) Fan Mail, E) Invitations to Events, F) Requests for Reviews/Criticism, and G) Outgoing Correspondence.
In most cases, a copy of Salk's replies to letters are attached to the incoming letter. It is important to note that this
correspondence series does not contain all of the correspondence in this accession. Correspondence relevant to specific subjects
(the polio subject files, for instance) is filed with those materials. Located in the correspondence series, however, is a
chronological correspondence file that contains most, if not all, of the letters sent out from the Salk Institute from 1984-1989.
The first subseries, General Correspondence, contains correspondence that dates from 1971-1991. A considerable amount of correspondence
in this subseries is with Charles Merieux, Bernard J. Montagnon and other scientists from the Institute Merieux, the laboratory
in Lyon, France that collaborated with the Salk Institute to develop a combined killed vaccine for polio and other diseases.
These files contain an extensive amount of discussion of the live versus killed polio vaccine debate. This correspondence,
dated 1975-1989, is filed under the heading "Institute Merieux." (Note that the letters from the Institute Merieux are written
in French.) The Merieux Institute was one of two distributors of the new vaccine in the United States. Also included in this
subseries is a substantial amount of correspondence from the Rijks Institute in the Netherlands. Salk also worked with this
laboratory on the development of a new inactivated polio-virus vaccine. Some notable names found in this subseries are Robert
Aldrich, Francis Crick, Indira and Kishone Gandhi, Albert Gore, Roger Guilleman, Armand Hammer, Orrin Hatch, and Ronald Reagan.
The majority of correspondence in this series consists of merely one or two letters per folder, and often Salk's reply has
been written by his assistants. This subseries is arranged alphabetically by name of the author or institution, and chronologically
within each folder.
The second subseries, UCSD Correspondence, is a small series containing correspondence between Salk and UCSD professors and
staff. The bulk of correspondence in this subseries consists of announcements of events or changes within departments. Also,
most folders consist of merely one or two letters. Notable names found in this subseries includes Robert Hamburger, Arnold
Mandell, and Herbert York. The material, dated 1981-1989, is arranged alphabetically according to author or department, and
chronologically within each folder.
The third subseries, Societies and Advisory Board Groups, contains correspondence with many of the societies and advisory
board groups that Salk was a member of and attests to the breadth of Salk's interests and involvements. Included are files
relating to the Forum for the Advancement of Immunization Research (FAIR). FAIR was established in 1978 by Salk and associates
"to serve the world wide need for research on infectious disease control" through "development and application of knowledge
in the control of infectious diseases preventable by immunization." These files include invitations to prospective board members,
proposals for areas of study, and items related to internal affairs. Also included are materials related to Salk's work on
immunization with the Institute of Medicine (1982-1989), Rotary International , Save the Children and the World Health Organization.
Other associations found in this subseries include Beyond War, Bishop's School, Council on Foreign Relations, the Dreyfus
Cooperation, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, the Native American Rights Fund, the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and Student
Pugwash. This series is arranged alphabetically within each folder, with societies or board groups that have less than three
items grouped together alphabetically under the appropriate letter.
The fourth subseries, Fan Mail, consists of an enormous amount of letters from people all over the world expressing praise,
asking for information and autographs, or offering Salk scientific and spiritual advice. This material, dated 1978-1988, is
grouped together alphabetically according to the author's last name.
The fifth subseries, Invitations to Events, was assembled by Salk's staff. This material is arranged in two categories, invitations
accepted and invitations declined, and contains requests by numerous organizations for Salk to appear at a function or ceremony,
or to endorse a product. This material is arranged chronologically and then alphabetically according to the author or institution
making the request.
The sixth subseries, Requests for Reviews/Criticisms, was arranged by Salk's staff. The letters to Salk in this subseries
range from academic requests for editing and criticism to more casual requests suggesting a book that Salk might enjoy. In
cases where the manuscript was included with the letter, items that had no annotations were separated from the collection.
The material, dated 1978-1989, is grouped together alphabetically by the author's last name.
The seventh subseries, Outgoing Correspondence, contains a comprehensive collection of letters sent out from the Salk Institute
from January 1984 to December 1989. It also includes the cover sheets for faxes sent from the Salk Institute from February
1989 to November 1989 and a log sheet of faxes sent out from January 1989 to June 1990. This material is arranged chronologically
by month and year, with the fax cover sheets and log sheet placed at the end of the subseries.
SERIES 12: WRITINGS AND LECTURES
The series, WRITINGS AND LECTURES, contains annotated drafts of writings and lectures written by Salk in the years 1984-1990.
Included are several drafts of the chapters Salk contributed to the book
Vaccines (1988). Also included are various drafts of papers written in 1987-1990 on the possibility of immunization for HIV. The paper
"HIV Immunization and Challenge of HIV Seropositive and Seronegative Chimpanzees" has multiple drafts. This material is arranged
SERIES 13: POLIO SUBJECT FILES
The series, POLIO SUBJECT FILES, contains miscellaneous materials (e.g., reports, statistics, correspondence, newspaper clippings)
that were organized by Salk's staff into specific subject areas. Files devoted to entire countries such as China, Egypt, Finland,
India, Israel and the Soviet Union document Salk's efforts to encourage or to continue the use of Inactivated Poliomyelitis
Vaccine (IPV) in these countries. Materials include correspondence with ministers of health, influential physicians and administrators,
and humanitarian groups based in these countries. Often included are statistics relevant to the incidence of polio in these
particular countries. The files related to Finland contain several studies on the occurrence of polio. This series also contains
files that document Salk's role in the Senate hearings on the Swine Flu Vaccination Program and the Natural Childhood Vaccine
Injury Compensation Act. Also included are materials related to the Center for Disease Control' s Advisory Committee on Immunization
Practices and, in particular, to Salk's efforts to convince the CDC of the dangers of oral live poliomyelitis vaccine. Also
found in this series are materials related to a number of lawsuits filed by victims of vaccine-associated poliomyelitis. Salk
played an important role in these suits, often actively seeking out the victims and encouraging them to take legal action.
Salk frequently served as an advisor to the lawyers of the plaintiffs and was an expert witness in many of the trials. These
files contain emotional correspondence with the victims and bring to light the devastating impact vaccine associated polio
had on these people. The file on Bernard Reis is especially poignant in this regard. The files also contain correspondence
with lawyers, transcripts of the trials, and newspaper clippings related to the cases. These materials are filed under the
general heading "Lawsuits" with each particular lawsuit arranged in chronological order thereafter. The subject files are
arranged alphabetically by subject.
SERIES 14: CONFERENCES
The series, CONFERENCES, contains correspondence, brochures, agendas and, in many instances, the papers Salk presented at
conferences he attended from 1971-1990. Most of the conferences concern immunization. There is, however, a substantial amount
of materials from a conference entitled "The Nucleation Workshop" which was held at the Salk Institute March 27-30, 1986.
The Nucleation Workshop brought together a number of savants from all over the world to discuss aspects of human evolution.
The materials in this series are arranged chronologically.
SERIES 15: SAN DIEGO GROWTH MANAGEMENT TASK FORCE MATERIALS
The series, SAN DIEGO GROWTH MANAGEMENT TASK FORCE MATERIALS, is a series of studies on the impact and management of population
growth in the San Diego region. The materials date from 1973-1984. Salk served on the advisory board of the 1984 Growth Management
Task Force (organized by Mayor Roger Hedgecock). The final drafts of meeting minutes are also included in this series. The
materials are arranged chronologically.
SERIES 16: SALK INSTITUTE FILES
The sixteenth series, SALK INSTITUTE FILES, consists of the final drafts of meeting minutes, agendas, inter-office memos,
and financial statements for the years 1982-1989. It also includes Annual Subject File Indices for the years 1984-1987. These
indices record the names of subject files created by Salk's staff. These materials are organized chronologically.
SERIES 17: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, INTERVIEWS AND EPHEMERA
The seventeenth series, NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, INTERVIEWS and EPHEMERA, contains an exhaustive selection of newspaper clippings
about Salk from all over the world. The clippings, which span the years 1955-1993, are separated into two categories; biographical
clippings and clippings that cover Salk's work on polio, flu and HIV. This material is arranged chronologically. Also included
is a partial transcript of an interview/discussion with Jonas Salk, Ann Douglas, Maryellen Diefenbach and Lorraine Friedman
recorded in September, 1984. (The cassette tape of this discussion has been separated from the collection and placed in the
Mandeville Department of Special Collections' cassette tape library.) The ephemera includes educational brochures from the
1950s and 1960s that explain what polio is, how the polio vaccine works and how the vaccine was discovered. Also included
are brochures which commemorate Salk and his achievements.
SERIES 18: AWARDS
The series, AWARDS, contains numerous plaques and citations accorded to Salk between 1958-1983.
SERIES 19: PHOTOGRAPHS
The series, PHOTOGRAPHS, contains all of the photos found in this accession. There are photos of Salk alone, in groups, and
giving lectures at various conferences. Included are portraits of Salk in the 1950s and 1980s, and photos of Salk with notables
Albert Sabin, Princess Anne and Theodore Geisel. The photos date from roughly 1955-1985.
SERIES 20: ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPYING
The series, ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPYING, contains all of the originals, that because of their fragile condition,
have been removed from the collection and replaced with acid-free photocopies.
Jonas Salk is best known for his discovery of the world's first successful vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis. In
addition to this accomplishment, Dr. Salk has made significant contributions to the study, prevention, and treatment of influenza,
multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other diseases. He is also known for the founding and direction of the Salk Institute for
Biological Studies in San Diego, his work for a wide variety of humanitarian endeavors, and most recently for his involvement
in AIDS research.
Jonas Edward Salk was born in New York City on October 28, 1914. The eldest son of Daniel and Dora Salk, he grew up in East
Harlem and the Crotona section of the Bronx. At 12 he began high school at Townsend Harris Hall, the preparatory school for
the City College of New York. At 15 he entered the College itself. Taking an early interest in scientific research, he graduated
from City College in 1934 with a Bachelor of Science degree.
In medical school at New York University, Salk distinguished himself from the beginning. At the end of his freshman year he
was offered a fellowship to study biochemistry. In 1936 he returned to classes and completed his medical degree in 1939. During
his last year in medical school he made the acquaintance of Dr. Thomas Francis, at that time chairman of the Department of
Bacteriology. Francis, who had conducted important research on influenza and other diseases, became Salk's close friend and
After medical school Dr. Salk married Donna Lindsay, a graduate student at the New York School of Social Work and later a
practicing social worker at the Jewish Child Care Association of New York. Before his internship, Dr. Salk spent a year of
study with Thomas Francis and George Lavin, focusing primarily on research on influenza. In March of 1940 Salk began his internship
at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, and he completed the program in 1942.
After his internship, Salk had a strong desire to study the pathology of virus diseases. In 1942 he obtained a grant-funded
position at the University of Michigan's new School of Public Health. The head of the School was Dr. Thomas Francis, who had
moved there in 1941. The funds for Salk's research came largely from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, although
the research itself concerned the development of a vaccine for the prevention of influenza.
In 1943, while still at Michigan, Salk began work with the United States Army Influenza Commission. One of the goals of the
Commission was to prevent an outbreak of the disease among the armed forces -- an outbreak which had reached epidemic proportions
at the end of World War I. Salk's work with the Army included the testing of noninfectious or "killed virus" vaccines against
influenza. Many vaccine field trials were carried out at Army bases such as Fort Dix and Fort Custer. At the end of World
War II, the Federal Government sent Dr. Salk to Germany, where he helped organize diagnostic laboratories for the prevention
of influenza among the occupation troops.
Dr. Salk held three positions at the University of Michigan. From 1943 to 1944 he was a Research Fellow in Epidemiology. In
1944 he became a Research Associate, and in 1946 he received a promotion to an assistant professorship.
Seeking a more secure academic position, Dr. Salk left Michigan in the fall of 1947 to become Associate Research Professor
of Bacteriology at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine. The dean of the School, Dr. William S. McEllroy, took
an active interest in promoting research in virology. With the help of McEllroy and other prominent members of the community,
Dr. Salk began a long and successful campaign to garner funds for the expansion of the Medical School's research program.
Although Salk began his work in inadequate quarters in the basement of Pittsburgh's Municipal Hospital, he eventually transformed
the Hospital facilities into a modern and well-equipped laboratory. Salk's early work at Pittsburgh was a continuation of
his Michigan influenza research. Beginning in 1948, however, he focused more and more of his attention on studying the poliomyelitis
Most support for Dr. Salk's polio work came from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis -- later known as the March
of Dimes. The founder of the organization, President Franklin Roosevelt, was himself a victim of polio. The Foundation had
its roots in Roosevelt's sponsorship of a polio treatment center in Warm Springs, Georgia in the early 1930's. In the mid-30s
a series of "Birthday Balls" for the President helped raise more funds for polio research. Finally, in 1937, Roosevelt established
the National Foundation. The president of the Foundation was Basil O'Connor, Roosevelt's former law partner and a self-made
millionaire. Along with Dr. Thomas Rivers, who advised the Foundation on research grants, Dr. Don W. Gudakunst, the Medical
Director, and Dr. Harry Weaver, its director of research, O'Connor made the organization the premier funding source for American
In September 1951, Basil O'Connor met Jonas Salk. The two were returning from the Second International Poliomyelits Conference
in Copenhagen aboard the Queen Mary. Salk made a most favorable impression on O'Connor, and they eventually became close friends.
The collaboration of Salk and O'Connor helped facilitate many important projects, including polio research and the establishment
of the Salk Institute.
Poliomyelitis (commonly called polio) is a viral disease that results in a wide range of symptoms, including extensive paralysis
of the muscles. The polio virus can enter the body through the throat and intestinal tract. Eventually the virus migrates
to the central nervous system where it does the most damage. In many cases, a mild form of the disease in infancy can result
in life-long immunity. Once known as "Infantile Paralysis," the disease was first accurately described in 1840. Epidemics
of the disease were noted as early as 1887 in Sweden. In the United States, polio epidemics became widespread after 1900.
A particularly large number of cases appeared in the U.S. between 1942 and 1953, and 33,344 cases were reported in 1950 alone.
Although only one of many infectious and fatal diseases, polio gained widespread attention because many of its victims were
children. Much of the success of the National Foundation's fundraising efforts resulted from the fears of parents and sympathy
for children crippled by polio.
Many polio researchers made substantial progress from the late 1930s to the 1950s. Among those were W. Lloyd Aycock, James
Trask, John R. Paul, David Bodian, Isabel Morgan, Howard Howe, Joseph Melnick, Dorothy Horstmann, Harold Cox, Hilary Kaprowski,
and Albert Sabin. In 1931, Macfarlane Burnet discovered the existence of more than one strain of the polio virus. Robert G.
Green made the important discovery that the polio virus could grow in non-nervous tissue. In 1951 and 1952 William Hammon
conducted a field trial of gamma-globulin, a blood protein in which antibodies are formed. The tests successfully proved that
the virus could travel through the bloodstream to the nervous system. A substantial breakthrough came in the late 1940s, when
John F. Enders, Thomas H. Weller, and Frederick Robbins successfully grew poliovirus in vitro at Harvard University. This
breakthrough paved the way for the use of laboratory-generated viruses for experimentation, and it opened up the possibility
that noninfectious vaccine could be developed from an inactivated virus.
Dr. Salk began his polio research by carrying out part of the systematic classification of the various strains of the virus.
To facilitate this work, Salk expanded and modernized the Virus Research Laboratory in the old Pittsburgh Municipal Hospital.
His staff included Major Byron L. Bennett, the chief laboratory technician; Dr. Julius S. Younger, the chief Research Associate;
Dr. James L. Lewis; and Dr. Elsie N. Ward. Later additions to the staff were Francis Yurochko, Dr. Mary L. Bailey, Dr. Percival
L. Bazeley, and Dr. Donald Wegemer. Handling Dr. Salk's administrative affairs was Lorraine Friedman, who began work with
him in 1949. Ms. Friedman, a Pittsburgh native, has continued her work with Dr. Salk to the present (1988).
By 1950 Dr. Salk had completed the essential work in his virus-typing experiments. He then shifted his focus to research on
a vaccine for the prevention of polio. The National Foundation awarded a grant for this research in 1951. The central element
in Salk's efforts was the development of a non-infectious or "killed virus" vaccine. Salk used tissue-culture methods to produce
the polio virus, and employed a formaldehyde solution called Formalin to inactivate the virus. To enhance potency, Salk experimented
with adjuvants derived from mineral oil.
In the early summer of 1952, Dr. Salk and his associates developed what they considered to be an effective polio vaccine.
In June of that year they tested their vaccine on a group of children at the D.T. Watson Home for Crippled Children, located
near Pittsburgh at Leetsdale. The tests proved successful, and more were conducted at the Watson Home and the Polk State School.
By the end of 1952 Dr. Salk felt that his vaccine could be used to combat polio on a large scale, and he announced his discovery
at a meeting in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in January 1953. The official report of his discovery appeared in Journal of the American
Medical Association of March 28, 1953.
To test his vaccine on a large scale, Dr. Salk and others proposed a nationwide field trial. During late 1953 and early 1954,
Dr. Salk and the National Foundation were involved in the complex work of designing the field trials, obtaining the official
approval needed to conduct the experiment, and seeing that vaccine of acceptable quality was manufactured. Deeply involved
in this process was the National Foundation's Vaccine Advisory Committee, under the leadership of Thomas Rivers. The pharmaceutical
companies that manufactured the trial vaccine were Parke Davis of Detroit and Eli Lilly of Indianapolis. On April 25, 1954,
the Vaccine Advisory Committee and the National Institutes of Health recommended that the field trial be carried out, and
the U.S. Public Health Service gave its official approval.
Under the overall observation of the University of Michigan and Dr. Thomas Francis, a massive field trial of the Salk vaccine
began on April 26, 1954. Children in grades one through five were inoculated. 441,131 children received the Salk vaccine,
and 201,229 were injected with a placebo. In June the tests ended, and Dr. Francis and his associates began to evaluate the
results. Meanwhile, in September 1954, Dr. Salk travelled to Rome with Basil O'Connor for the Third International Poliomyelitis
Conference. There Salk and his supporters came under attack from proponents of live-virus polio vaccines, most notably Albert
Sabin. This conflict, which had begun earlier in the decade, would intensify throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and it continues
to the present.
By April of 1955, Dr. Francis and his associates had reached the conclusion that the Salk vaccine field trials were, with
some exceptions, generally successful. Francis presented his report in Ann Arbor on April 12, 1955. After an evaluation of
the report by a group of virologists, a license for sale of the Salk vaccine was signed by Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby, the Secretary
of Health, Education and Welfare.
The announcement of the success of the field trials led to great demand for the Salk vaccine. By the end of April 1955, around
5 million children had been inoculated with commercially produced Salk vaccine. Several commercial firms (besides Parke Davis
and Lilly) manufactured the vaccine on a large scale -- a process which had begun even before the release of the Francis Report.
Some of the firms had difficulty in safely inactivating the polio virus. At the end of April 1955, a large batch of vaccine
manufactured by Cutter Laboratories actually caused polio in 250 cases. The Cutter vaccine was taken off the market, although
the general vaccination program continued. An investigation of the incident revealed problems in inactivation of the Mahoney
strain of the virus. On the recommendation of John Enders and other virologists, U.S. Surgeon-General Leonard Scheele halted
the vaccination program on May 7, 1955. After an in-depth investigation, Dr. Salk and a technical committee of virologists
developed more stringent specifications for the manufacture of the vaccine. On May 27, 1955, the Surgeon-General announced
that the vaccination program could be resumed.
Although the vaccination program continued, public enthusiasm for the program waned in the late 1950s, despite the promotional
efforts of the National Foundation. Although the use of the vaccine was not as widespread as Dr. Salk had hoped, and although
many people did not receive the full course of three injections, the vaccine accounted for a dramatic decline in the incidence
of polio in the United States and elsewhere.
Dr. Salk's vaccine earned him immediate recognition throughout the world. His office received thousands of "thank you" letters
from school children from many countries. In some Latin American towns, mothers and children signed long and elaborately designed
scrolls, which were sent to Dr. Salk. State legislatures and organizations throughout the country passed resolutions honoring
Dr. Salk. He received numerous special awards and honors, including honorary degrees. Included in some of the thousands of
pieces of fan mail were cash donations to promote future research.
Although Salk's vaccine was generally successful in combatting polio, other researchers searched for alternatives. Among these
researchers were Herold Cox, Hilary Koprowski, and Albert Sabin. Sabin, who felt that a killed-virus vaccine like Salk's could
not effectively prevent polio, developed his own live-virus vaccine. Adapting techniques used by Renato Dulbecco, Sabin made
progress in the mid-1950s, and by 1956 he was ready to test his vaccine on a large scale. A massive field trial of the Sabin
vaccine took place in the Soviet Union between 1957 and 1959, and the results were reported as successful. Tests of vaccines
produced by Koprowski and Cox took place in Africa and Latin America during the same years.
Unlike the Salk vaccine, the Sabin vaccine was suspended in syrup or sugar cubes and taken orally. Sabin claimed that his
vaccine was more potent and longer lasting in its protection than Salk's. In addition, since Sabin's vaccine was taken orally,
he claimed that it was easier to administer than the Salk vaccine, which required multiple hypodermic injections to be effective.
The most significant drawback of the Sabin vaccine was its potential for infection from the live virus.
By 1962 the Sabin vaccine had been licensed by the Federal Government and endorsed by the American Medical Association. By
1963 70,000,000 people in the United States had taken the vaccine. By the end of the 1960s the Sabin vaccine had become the
primary drug for the prevention of polio in the U.S. However, although polio became virtually non-existent in the United States
by 1970, many new cases of the disease were caused by the live virus in the Sabin vaccine itself. Because of this potential
harm, many countries, including Sweden, favored the use of the vaccine developed by Salk.
Dr. Salk continued his virus research in the late 1950s. In addition to serving as the director of the University of Pittsburgh's
Virus Research Laboratory, Salk held the posts of Commonwealth Professor of Preventive Medicine (1955-1957), and Commonwealth
Professor of Experimental Medicine (1957-1963).
Beginning around 1957, Dr. Salk began planning for the establishment of an institute for biological research. He originally
considered locating an institute for experimental medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, but he soon realized that an independent
entity would better serve the cause of modern scientific research. He hoped to create a hospitable environment for scientists
concerned with the implications of their work and interested in the interrelationships between various disciplines.
By 1960 Salk had chosen San Diego as the site for what would become the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. A substantial
amount of start-up funds came from the National Foundation-March of Dimes. The citizens of San Diego, through a referendum,
made a gift of pueblo lots in the La Jolla area, close to the new University of California, San Diego. The Institute began
operation in temporary quarters in 1963, and permanent buildings, designed by architect Louis Kahn, were completed in 1967.
The buildings soon gained international fame for their dramatic and innovative design.
The Salk Institute succeeded in assembling an outstanding and highly innovative staff, including many Nobel laureates. The
original fellows of the Institute included: mathematician Jacob Bronowski; biophysicist and immunochemist Melvin Cohn; Francis
Crick, a physicist, chemist, and molecular biologist; Renato Dulbecco, a physician, bacteriologist, virologist, and physicist;
physicist Edwin Lennox; biochemist Jacques Monod; physicist and biologist Leo Szilard; and Warren Weaver, an engineer, mathematician,
and physicist. Weaver also served as chairman of the Board of Trustees. Charles S. Wilson began work as the first General
Manager before the Institute began in La Jolla, and William Glazier continued in the post after 1963. Dr. Salk himself served
as the Institute's director until 1975, followed by Augustus Kinzel, and later Fredric de Hoffman.
The research conducted at the Institute came to be recognized as highly significant by the international scientific community.
Included in this research has been the study of molecular-cellular mechanisms in genetics, immunology, and neurobiology, and
the application of these studies to the prevention of cancer, diabetes, and myasthenia gravis. Institute researchers have
also studied problems of genetic defects, aging, fertility control, alcoholism, and the biological foundations of language
acquisition, language disorders, and learning.
After moving to San Diego, Dr. Salk continued to conduct his own research with his own laboratory staff. Among the research
carried out by the Salk Lab has been studies aimed at understanding and manipulating the immune system in its relationship
to the control of autoimmune and neoplastic diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis (MS). During the 1970s Dr. Salk
devoted much attention to the prevention and treatment of MS, and between 1978 and 1980 he participated in an extensive MS
study with a team headed by Dr. John S. Romine of the University of California, San Diego. With funding from the National
Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Salk-Romine study tested the use of myelin basic protein as a therapeutic agent in the treatment
In the 1980s Dr. Salk collaborated in successful studies aimed at the development, production, and field testing of a new
noninfectious polio vaccine designed to give life-long immunity from a single dose. The new vaccine can now be administered
in combination with other vaccines for the prevention of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, thus simplifying routine childhood
immunization. Also in the 1980s Dr. Salk worked with international health organizations to implement and improve immunization
programs throughout the world.
Dr. Salk's most recent (1988) scientific endeavor involved prevention of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS.
With his son, Peter, he tested his theory that immunization can be carried out on those already infected with the HIV virus.
In addition to this clinical work, Dr. Salk was active in raising funds for AIDS research and in lobbying for greater public
support for this research.
Aside from Dr. Salk's career as a scientific investigator and director of a research institution, he wrote numerous articles
and books on a variety of topics. He documented his research in more than 100 articles in scientific journals, and wrote additional
articles on topics such as education, health care, world problems, and the place of man in the global environment.
In the early 1970s Dr. Salk began writing extensively on the subject of human evolution and the potential of mankind. Some
of these writings appeared in two books:
Man Unfolding (1972) and
The Survival of the Wisest (1973). In the latter book, Dr. Salk discussed his theory of metabiology -- a theory that relates to man's potential for
transcending the ordinary limits of living matter. He theorized that Mankind was on the threshold of a new era -- Epoch B
-- in which a new form of human consciousness might prevail. Such a consciousness would, he felt, enable mankind to draw upon
imagination and intellect for overcoming the serious physical challenges to survival that have arisen in the modern era. Dr.
Salk further expanded his ideas in the book
World Population and Human Values (1981), written in collaboration with his son Jonathan, and in his most recent book
Anatomy of Reality: Merging of Intuition and Reason (1983).
Dr. Salk's concern for the quality of human life has extended far beyond the laboratory. He has devoted time and effort to
organizations supporting the arts, sciences, and education, and the alleviation of hunger, disease, poverty and war. In these
efforts, Dr. Salk has participated in such organizations as the Council for Biology in Human Affairs, Epoch B Foundation,
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Native Americans Rights Fund - National Support Committee, Nuclear
Weapons Freeze Campaign, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Population Reference Bureau, the World Affairs Council
of San Diego, and the World Future Society. In 1979 Dr. Salk was chosen for the board of directors of the John D. and Catherine
T. MacArthur Foundation, a philanthropic trust which funds, among other things, projects and institutions in the arts, sciences,
In 1970 Dr. Salk was elected to the board of directors of the Dreyfus Fund, a mutual fund investment organization. As member
of the board, Dr. Salk has helped to set the general investment policies carried out by fund's investment officers. His presence
added a broader and more humanistic voice to the otherwise business-minded board.
The live versus killed polio vaccine debate reemerged in the mid-1970s. Because the oral live polio vaccine (OPV) had been
used almost exclusively in the United States since 1961, data on the incidence of polio could be evaluated in a new light.
It was shown that while the Sabin vaccine had virtually obliterated wild-virus polio in the United States, it in fact inflicted
paralytic polio on an estimated 10 persons per year. Furthermore, countries such as Finland and Sweden, which had utilized
only the killed vaccine in their immunization campaigns, did not have a polio problem. These facts provided Jonas Salk, his
son Darrell, and other supporters with a new and compelling argument against the United States' preference for the Sabin vaccine.
If the Salk vaccine was proven safe and effective in other countries, and did not cause polio, why was the U.S. using a vaccine
that had been proven to maim and kill? Supporters of the Sabin vaccine countered that the benefits of the live vaccine far
outweighed its deleterious effects, asserting that the live vaccine was easier to administer, it was cheaper and it could
spread its immunizing effects on to people who merely came into contact with someone who had recently taken the vaccine. Furthermore,
they argued, the incidence of vaccine associated polio was minor when compared to the millions of vaccinations given each
year. These factors, though debatable, managed to keep the majority of the medical community and their preference for the
oral vaccine unmoved by Salk's assertions.
Arguments against the Sabin vaccine did finally gain unprecedented attention when the victims of vaccine-induced polio began
taking their claims to court and winning. One jury in Kansas awarded a victim 10 million dollars. These lawsuits had an enormous
impact on the debate because they finally awakened the general public to the dangers inherent in the live vaccine and compelled
the government and the manufacturers of the vaccine, who were often faulted in these cases, to look for alternatives. Furthermore,
vaccine manufacturers, frightened by the lawsuits, either dropped out of the market or lobbied the government for protection
from litigation, thereby making it more expensive to produce the live vaccine. The lawsuits also managed to shake up some
physicians who were afraid of being sued for administering a potentially deadly vaccine and, as a result, caused the debate
to flare within the medical community. Jonas and Darrell Salk realized the impact litigation would have on the debate and
one or the other often served as an advisor to lawyers for the plaintiff. Darrell was an expert witness in many of the trials.
Despite these blows to the eminence of the Sabin vaccine in the U.S., the fact that the Sabin vaccine was easier to administer
continued to make it more attractive to physicians and to the government. The Sabin vaccine was administered orally in three
doses to induce immunity. In contrast, the Salk vaccine was administered by injection, and was thought to require booster
doses to maintain immunity. This argument against the Salk vaccine was seriously challenged with the announcement in 1977
of the enhanced inactivated polio vaccine, or E-IPV. E-IPV required only 1-2 doses and could be blended with other children's
vaccines, such as the diptheria-pertussis vaccine, to streamline vaccination programs. The Merieux Institute of France, the
Connaught Laboratories in Canada, and the Rijks Institute in the Netherlands were the developers of the new vaccine and Salk
collaborated extensively with these laboratories.
Dr. Salk has three sons: Peter, Darrell and Jonathan. In 1970 he married the French artist Francoise Gilot. Jonas Salk died
in June 1995.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Jonas Salk Papers, MSS 1. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Materials in the POLIO FILES series are restricted, pending review by Special Collections & Archives Librarian. Original materials
deemed too fragile for use are restricted. User copies must be consulted in place of these materials.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Bronowski, Jacob, 1908-1974
Francis, Thomas, 1900-
Hammer, Armand, 1898-1990
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974
Lewis, L. James
Merieux, Charles, 1907-
O'Connor, Basil, 1892-1972
Romine, John S.
Sabin, Albert B., (Albert Bruce)
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Multiple sclerosis -- Research
Photographic prints -- 20th Century.
Poliomyelitis -- Research
Science -- Social aspects
Virologists -- United States -- Biography