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Jesse Steinfeld’s Impact

If I said the name Jesse Steinfield to you, would you ask me if that’s the lady with a recipe book… who is married to Jerry? Well, no. That’s Jessica Seinfeld… married to Jerry Seinfeld.

When I saw the obituary for Jesse Steinfeld, I thought his name sounded familiar… but not really. So, I decided to do my own research. What captured my attention in the obituary?

Steinfeld was the Surgeon General under President Nixon from 1969-1973.  According to his Wikipedia entry, he resigned at the beginning of the beginning of the second term of the Nixon Presidency. That was the official story. In fact, he was forced out of his appointment after campaigning against the harms of smoking.

Before his “resignation”, he is credited with changing the cigarette package labels to include a warning that clearly stated that smoking was hazardous to your health. He also called on a smoking ban in restaurants, theaters, planes and public places. Unfortunately, it took several years for those changes to become reality.

Dr. Steinfeld was on a mission to take on Big Tobacco. To that end, he issued a report that focused on the dangers of second-hand smoke. Unfortunately, at that time, the tobacco lobby was powerful enough to seek his removal from office.

Steinfeld may have been forced out of Washington, but he continued to impact tobacco through medicine. He later served as Director of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center and as a Professor at the Mayo Medical School. Steinfeld became President of the Medical College of Georgia, a position he held until his retirement. I’d say that Big Tobacco won the battle and Steinfeld won his war!

DID YOU KNOW that telephone companies first began to hire teenage boys as their operators? They then switched to adult women because the boys were constantly wrestling instead of working, and pulling pranks on the callers.

And our pic o’ day:

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