Book Recounts Career of CDC Vet Division Founder

James H. Steele founded the veterinary division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1947. The 96-year-old veterinarian is called "The Father of Veterinary Public Health" by his colleagues.

A book written by the University of Kentucky's Craig Carter, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVPM, director of the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center, was signed by Steele, DVM, at the American Veterinary Medical Association meeting July 11-13 in Seattle. The book signing was hosted by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM).

One Man, One Medicine, One Health--the James H. Steele Story, by Carter and editorial assistant Cynthia Hoobler, DVM, MPH, Dipl. ACVPM, highlights the career of Steele. He introduced the principles of veterinary public health to the U.S. and countries around the globe, saving untold animal and human lives along the way. His achievements have helped the world achieve higher standards of living through a better understanding of the epidemiology of diseases shared by animals and man (zoonoses).

As a U.S. Public Health Service officer, Steele became the first Assistant Surgeon General for Veterinary Affairs and later was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services at the rank of Admiral. He has received numerous awards through his career, including the Surgeon General's Medallion in 2006, presented by Richard H. Carmona. Steele is the only veterinarian to receive that prestigious award.

The biography begins with Steele's birth and scrappy childhood in Chicago and takes the reader through his formal education, early work experiences, and on through to his retirement from the CDC in 1971. Family and personal experiences are weaved into the story to include real-life adventure, success, tragedy, and humor.

After leaving the CDC, Steele began a prominent second career as a Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health. There he compiled and edited the world’s first comprehensive series of books on diseases shared by animals and man, the CRC Handbook Series on Zoonoses. At age 96, he continues to lecture, consult, mentor, advise, write, and inspire.

All proceeds from the book sales will benefit the Steele Endowed Lecture Series and the James H. Steele Professorship of Epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston.

Purchase a copy of the book on

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