Cornerstones of Black History--Dr. Daniel Hale Williams

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams

Heart disease is the number one killer in America, but there is a procedure that doctors perform to help save lives. It's called open heart surgery and in 1893, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams was the first to successfully perform it. During the operation, he removed a knife from the heart of a stabbing victim. The man made a full recovery.

But things didn't always come that easy. In fact, when he was only 11, his mother abandoned him. In spite of that, in 1883, Williams opened his doctor's office in Chicago when the hospitals didn't allow black doctors to use their facilities. In 1891, Williams helped to establish the Provident Hospital and training schools for nurses, which was open to patients of all races.

He went on to earn many awards for his skills and devotion to training future generations of black doctors and nurses.

Reported by: Dawn Baker,