Leslie A. Falk African American History Research Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection contains materials on Dr. Leslie A. Falk’s medical career and on his Civil Rights activities in Mississippi, but the bulk of the collection consists primarily of African American history materials on the Underground Railroad, African American heroes, and African Americans who pioneered in the field of medicine. The collection should be of interest to researchers of Civil Rights activities, the Underground Railroad, African American heroes, or African Americans who pioneered in the field of medicine.
- Creation: 1842-1999
- Falk, Leslie A (Leslie Alan), 1915- (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Noncirculating; available for research.
Conditions Governing Use
This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).
Biographical / Historical
Leslie A. Falk, born on April 19, 1915, was reared in St. Louis, Missouri. By 1936, he graduated from the University of Illinois, entered Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and applied for a Rhodes Scholarship. From 1937 to 1940, the Rhodes Scholarship enabled him to attend Oxford University, work with Sir Howard Florey (and other scientists) in the development of a method for the extraction of penicillin from mold, and attain the Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Science.
In 1942, he obtained his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, started a one-year residency at Johns Hopkins, and married Joy Hume, a happy union, which later resulted in four children: Gail, Ted, Don, and Beth. From 1943 to 1946, he served in the U. S. Army, Medical Corps. In November of 1948, he accepted the position of Area Medical Administrator for the United Mine Works Welfare and Retirement Fund in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a position he would hold until 1967. But, while holding the position, he was also very active in the civil rights movement. In 1963, he was a member of the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR), which served the medical needs of civil rights and other activists during the sixties, and for a short time, he served as the MCHR’s first field secretary in Mississippi. His daughter, Gail, also participated in Mississippi Freedom Summer 1964. After Freedom Summer 1964, he returned to his Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, position, where he formed a MCHR Pittsburgh chapter and attended national MCHR meetings.
On October 1, 1967, he accepted a faculty position with the Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. While at Meharry he served as an officer in the MCHR Meharry chapter, and as President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
In 1986, his wife, Joy, died of cancer. In 1987, he retired from Meharry, moved to Vermont, and energetically devoted more time to researching and writing about the Underground Railroad, African American heroes, and African Americans who pioneered in the field of medicine.
1.80 Cubic Feet
Language of Materials
Materials regarding the Underground Railroad and other aspects of African American history collected by Dr. Falk, the first Medical Committee for Human Rights Field Secretary in Mississippi.
Materials in the collection were generated and/or collected by Leslie A. Falk. Donated by him in May of 2000.
Existence and Location of Copies
For Digitized Materials from this collection, see: External Documents link at bottom of page.
M391-2 Japanese Building 4 X 5 ½ b & w undated (Box 1, Folder 3)
M391-3 Grave Marker of Reverend John Braden, D. D. 6 X 4 b & w undated (Box 1, Folder 3)
M391-4 Sketch of Dr. Martin R. Delany 6 X 4 b & w undated Photograph of sketch (Box 1, Folder 3)
M391-5 Dr. Martin R. Delany 7 X 5 b & w undated Photograph of sketch (Box 1, Folder 3)
M391-6 Sketch of Dr. John S. Rock 6 X 4 b & w undated Photograph of sketch (Box 1, Folder 3)
M391-7 Bishop Walden 5 ½ X 3 ½ b & w undated Photograph of sketch (Box 1, Folder 3)
Genre / Form
- Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.).
- Personal narratives.
- Records (Documents).
- Leslie A. Falk African American History Research Collection
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository
118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001