Friday, August 8, 2014

A. Leroy Alston , noted New York black athlete , was first person in history to get a shot of penicillin - Oct 16 1940 Manhattan

Penicillin histories record the first person ever to receive an antibiotics shot only as Aaron Alston and that is about it.

Aaron himself (along with his family and friends) called himself Leroy.

He signed himself A. Leroy Alston whenever he appeared in the newspapers (which he did fairly frequently) in his role as an outstanding amateur athlete and athletic coach.

His parents Louise (Glaze) Alston and William (known as Stock) Alston came from Georgia and arrived in Harlem in 1923 , with their only child Leroy actually being born in South Carolina in 1910.

His family ran a restaurant on 8th Avenue in Harlem and lived in the Sugar Hill district of Harlem.

He finished high school and worked as a file clerk in a fire insurance company.

On the 1930 census he was married to Charlotte L Alston , about his same age, but she had died by time of the 1940 census - as had his father.

Leroy's real passion was for athletics - a  winning runner at major matches and great in baseball, he was best known for coaching a girls' track and field team ,the Mercury ACs - in fact he fundraised for them and promoted them non stop.

No wonder his doctor Martin Henry Dawson described him  to Ernst Chain, as a patient "in whom he was particularly interested "...

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