Physician; Military officer. Born– October 3, 1854, Mobile. Parents– Josiah and Amelia (Gayle) Gorgas. Married– Marie Cook Doughty, September 15, 1885. Children– One. Education–¬†B.S., University of the South, 1875; Bellevue Medical College, 1879. Appointed surgeon in Army Medical Corps, 1880. Having survived an attack of yellow fever in Texas, he was immune to the disease and was often stationed at posts where it was prevalent. As chief sanitation officer of Havana in 1901, acting upon Walter Reed’s demonstration of the transmission of yellow fever by the mosquito, destroyed breeding places and halted the epidemic. Became chief sanitary officer for the Panama Canal project in 1904 and succeeded in eliminating yellow fever from the Canal Zone within a year. In 1914, promoted to brigadier general and appointed Surgeon General of the U.S. Army. Retired in 1918 with rank of major general. Served as president of the American Medical Association.¬†Accorded honors by many organizations and nations; knighted by King George V in 1920. Died July 3, 1920.


Webster’s American Dictionary, 1979; National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 32.


A Few General Directions with Regard to Destroying Mosquitos [sic.]. Washington, D.C.; Government Printing Office, 1904.

Inspection of Medical Services with American Expeditionary Forces. Washington, D.C.; Government Printing Office, 1919.

Journal of William C. Gorgas, Chairman, Yellow Fever Commission. S.l.; s.n., 1919-1920.

Results Obtained in Havana from the Destruction of the Stegomyia Facciata Infection by Yellow Fever. Havana, Cuba; s.n., 1902.

Sanitation in Panama. New York; D. Appleton, 1915.

Yellow Fever; a Composition of Various Publications. Washington, D.C.; Government Printing Office, 1911.