How far the American Academy of Pediatrics and pediatrics as a medical discipline have advanced during the last 75 years is eloquently evidenced in our 75th anniversary meeting, with thousands of attendees and hundreds of speakers, discussing an extraordinarily broad range of scientific, public health, socioeconomic, and governmental issues.

My task is to explore with you how American pediatrics and the academy have evolved and especially some of the social, professional, and scientific forces and personalities that shaped the pediatrics of today. Knowing where we came from may give us insights into where we are likely to go in the next 75 years.

It was not until the late 1800s that pediatrics began to emerge as a separate specialty in the United States, largely because of the influence and efforts of 4 physicians: Drs Abraham Jacobi, Job Lewis Smith, and L. Emmett Holt of New York, New York, and John...

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