Dr. Anthony Fauci: A Life of Great Images

It’s not hard to find a special appreciation for Doctor Anthony Fauci. He continues to benefit the country and the world through the development of vaccines and the application of intelligent medical practices. He has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, and he has been with the National Institute of Health since 1968. I did not know much about him until working on this piece, but now I know how remarkable a person he really is. Fauci has helped humanity triumph in the battle against diseases like AIDS, Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola, and many more. Taking on the Coronavirus is in many ways a continuation of something he has already been doing for decades.

Dr. Fauci will tell you himself how much he loves doing research and working with people. I also enjoy research, too, (as well as working with people), although the focus of my research is historical, not medical. I wanted to try to lay out the sequence of Dr. Fauci’s life through images as best as I could, in order to learn more about who he is and how he got here.

Roots in Brooklyn and Italy

Stephen Fauci, Anthony’s Father

Both of Fauci’s parents were children of Italian immigrants. Fauci spent his early years in Bensonhurst, a predominantly Italian-American area. His father, Stephen Antonio Fauci, was a pharmacist, who moved his family to the Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn to acquire a small building, where he operated a drugstore on the ground floor and his family lived in an apartment above. From an early age, Anthony (Tony) Fauci worked in the family business, tending the cash register, wrapping packages, and making deliveries. This is the corner of 13th Avenue and 83rd Street, where the pharmacy was right on the corner. (Fauci Family Collection)


Below: today, a real estate law office stands where the Fauci Pharmacy used to be. Above, the Child Photo: I came across this photo at childhoodphotography.com. The site was confident this was a photo of a young Anthony Fauci.

 

 

High School Basketball
Fauci went to Regis High School, a school for the academically gifted. Despite being only about 5’6″ Fauci became the captain of his school basketball team. Fauci is kneeling in front of the team, wearing number 4.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece on Fauci’s upset win over Fordham Prep, a team nobody expected his team would beat. Fordham Prep had Donnie Walsh, future super executive on its team. Regis came into the game with a 1 and 16 record. “Nobody gave us a chance,” said John Zeman, a Regis alumnus. “Everyone figured it was going to be a blowout.” But there was one teenager who looked at this demoralizing collection of data and came to a wildly optimistic conclusion. “Tony said no. We’re going to win this game. And we did.” (Wall Street Journal)

Holy Cross College
After Regis, Fauci went Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated in 1962 with a degree in Classical Studies. Fauci is in the photo below, second from the right during a Biology Society Meeting. (Vocal Media)

1962 Holy Cross College Graduation


Cornell Medical College
Fauci next studied at Cornell Medical College. He graduated in 1966 with a degree in medicine, finishing first in his class. The arrow in the photo points to Dr. Fauci.

 

Internship, 1966-67
Fauci interned at New York Medical Hospital in New York City. He is circled below. (nih.gov photo)

 

NIH, LCI 1968-1984
Fauci went to work at the National Institute of Health. First as an associate and then in 1974, he became Head of the Clinical Physiology Section, LCI. He and Sheldon Wolff (circled in photo below) worked together to find a cure for Vasculitis, a disease which up until that point was usually fatal. As Fauci told NPR: “The vasculitis patients have overactive immune systems. Maybe if we gave them these toxic drugs, but in a much lower dose, it would lower the overreaction without killing them. And in fact, it not only did that, it cured the disease.” He and his colleagues, principally Sheldon Wolff, helped cure a disease that, as he has said, is not a disease that millions of people have, but people died from it, and they don’t die from it now.

Tackling AIDS
It came on suddenly in the early 1980’s. People were dying what Fauci called “horrible deaths” and it created an almost immediate health crisis. Fauci knew instinctively that he had to do something about it. Despite being warned by some that it would not help his career to do so, Fauci took AIDS head on.

Fauci felt his instincts and background, both as a New Yorker and a doctor and researcher, would give him the unique skills necessary to take on the disease and persuade an angry and frustrated AIDS community that he was on their side. It took time but as he continued to make progress, Fauci did win over the respect of many, including Larry Kramer of ACT UP, an important AIDS activist group.

 

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In 1987, Fauci Presenting to President Ronald Reagan on AIDS.
Reagan at far left, Fauci at far right. Reagan is the first of six Presidents Fauci worked with. (NIH photo)


In 1987, Fauci with NIH director James Wyngaarden and Bush.
Fauci has said he has been offered the head NIH role several times, and he turns it down every time. He prefers the NIAID role because he feels he can be more influential while being less tied down with administrative overhead the higher position would require. (NIH)


In 1990, Fauci With President Bush.
A clip has recently emerged of then candidate for President, George Bush, at a 1988 debate, praising Doctor Fauci for his research on AIDS. Looking back, it’s inspiring to see the clip, and it’s hard to believe that the praise came over 30 years ago from a Presidential candidate. The clip can be viewed here. It’s a statement to just how long Fauci has been been at his post. He is now credited with battling back AIDS so that a person now treated with his vaccine has virtually the same life expectancy as someone without the disease.

Fauci With Mother Teresa.
This is one of the rare times Dr. Fauci appears taller than someone else. (Undated although it’s a 1997 Vanderbilt University photo.)

 

In 1990, Fauci With Senator Edward Kennedy. At Dr. Fauci’s Lab, Doctor Fauci is standing behind Kennedy. (NIH records photo)

 

In 1995, Fauci Presenting to President Bill Clinton. Fauci said Clinton had good instincts but always kept their relationship formal. (NIH)


Fauci With Chris and Dana Reeve December 15, 1996. (Fauci standing off to the right.) Reeve created the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation that is a partner with the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke. (NIH) 

 

 

In the 1990’s, Fauci With His Family. His wife, Christine Grady, is a nurse and bioethicist at the NIH. Oldest daughter Jennifer is a Harvard and Columbia graduate who has focused on young adult psychology; Megan is a Johns Hopkins grad and teacher in Louisiana. Alison who went to Stanford now works in software.

 

In 2008, Fauci Receiving Presidential Metal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Bush. Bush said in presenting the award that Fauci showed courage even at an early age, by rooting for the Yankees while everyone else in the neighborhood were Dodger fans.

In 2012, Fauci With Sir Elton John in Washington, DC.

In 2014, Fauci With President Obama.

 

In 2020, Fauci with President Trump and Vice President Pence.


A photo of Fauci himself, with a wall of more photos I would love to get a look at. (Vanderbilt University photo). Fauci continues to be a welcome sight and an admired leader in our fight against disease in this country.

 

More Resources On Dr. Fauci and Sources For This Piece

USCF Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0PVi7qoNNM

NIH Information and Photos
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=fauci

Wall Street Journal On the Big Win
https://www.wsj.com/articles/dr-fauci-was-a-basketball-captain-now-hes-americas-point-guard-11585479601

Biography.com Page
https://www.biography.com/scientist/anthony-fauci

George W Bush Archives From Metal Presentation
https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/06/20080619-9.html

History of Dr. Fauci’s Family
https://vocal.media/longevity/the-family-history-of-dr-anthony-fauci

Dr. Fauci’s NIAID Director Profile Page
https://www.niaid.nih.gov/about/director

Debate Praise From Bush in 1988 on Fauci
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/george-hw-bush-trump-anthony-fauci-coronavirus-aids-deep-state-twitter-a9416786.html

NPR Profile Piece
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/04/16/834873162/long-before-covid-19-dr-tony-fauci-changed-medicine-in-america-forever

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. GENE BIANCHERI

     /  April 22, 2020

    A nice, complete background summary of the top person in his field and a fellow Bensonhurstian from Brooklyn, Dr. Anthony Fauci. A suggested change: the caption for the 1990 photo with Senator Kennedy should change Dr. Fauci’s title: “Senator Fauci” [sic] should read Doctor Fauci.

    Reply
  2. John

     /  April 23, 2020

    Great read, thank you for putting this together.

    Reply

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