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May 20, 2009

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Awards Dean’s Medal to David Oshinsky

Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has awarded the Dean’s Medal—the School’s highest honor—to historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Oshinsky. The Dean’s Medal recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of public health. Oshinsky was presented with the Dean’s Medal on May 20 at the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s convocation ceremony in Baltimore, Md. He also presented the convocation keynote address.

Oshinsky is the Jack S. Blanton Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin and is a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University. His book Polio: An American Story was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize for History and the Hoover Book Award in 2006. In 2009, PBS’s The American Century aired the documentary “The Polio Crusade” based on his book. His other books include A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, which won the Hardeman Prize for the best book about the U.S. Congress and was a New York Times “notable book of the year”; Worse Than Slavery, which won the Robert Kennedy Book Award for its “distinguished contribution to human rights” and was also a New York Times “notable book of the year.” His reviews and essays appear regularly in the New York Times and other national publications.

David Oshinky is a talented author, insightful historian, and riveting speaker. His book Polio: An American Story chronicles the development of the life-saving polio vaccine, which is one of the great public health achievements of the twentieth century,” said Klag. “It is a great privilege to honor David for his contribution to public health.”

Oshinsky is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the University of Texas. He delivered the main commencement address at UT in 2007, and has given keynote addresses at Harvard Medical School, NYU Medical School, Oxford University and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University among other places. He earned his PhD from Brandeis University in 1971.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Natalie Wood-Wright or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or