Maurice Hilleman
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Posted by Larry Antram (+177) 17 years ago
I noticed this link, picked up by the news area of the site:

http://www.chicagotribune...&cset=true

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MAURICE HILLEMAN, 85
Vaccine researcher saved `millions of lives'

Associated Press
Published April 12, 2005

TRENTON, N.J. -- Maurice Hilleman, a pioneer in vaccine research who helped develop vaccines for mumps, measles, chickenpox and other childhood scourges, died Monday of cancer. He was 85.

Mr. Hilleman died at a hospital in Philadelphia. A longtime resident of the area, he held doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago and Montana State University.

Mr. Hilleman worked for Merck & Co. Inc. for nearly 30 years before retiring in 1984 as senior vice president, the pharmaceutical giant said.

A native of Miles City, Mont., he led or began the development of vaccines against diseases that once killed or hospitalized millions, including measles, German measles, meningitis, pneumonia and hepatitis A and B. He began work on the mumps vaccine after his daughter developed the illness at age 5 in 1963.

"Maurice Hilleman will be historically remembered as the vaccinologist of the 20th Century," said Dr. Robert Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland.

"His work has saved literally millions of lives," said Dr. Adel Mahmoud, president of Merck Vaccines.

Mr. Hilleman was a longtime adviser to the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Vaccine Program and the National Institutes of Health's Office of AIDS Research Program Evaluation.

Survivors include his wife and two daughters.

Copyright c 2005, Chicago Tribune
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Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+401) 17 years ago
Monday's paper published an even more detailed front page story credited to "Star Staff Writer and Merck & Co. press release." A hero genius honored by the rest of the world, unknown and ignored by his own home town. Pity.

Johnnie Lockett Thomas
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Posted by Ellen Compton (+36) 16 years ago
Dear Larry and all:
Maurice Hilleman was my Uncle. My father who was his older brother influenced him to quit working for J.C.Penny's store and get an education. I just thought you all should know the above. I am working on my genealogy, especially on William Frederick Schmalsle. So I will add my Uncle's obituary articles to our genealogy.
Sincerely,
Ellen K. Compton (Mrs.)
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Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+401) 16 years ago
I am delighted to read your post. I hope we can find an affordable and suitable way to honor him.

Meanwhile, I found a newspaper clipping in the Miles City Star from about 1946-47 that included the information that he had been a science teacher at Custer County High.

Do you have a complete bio of him that would have included that sort of local information, or stories that would not have made the national media?

Johnnie Lockett Thomas
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Posted by frank Masterson (+18) 16 years ago
My brother, James Masterson, remembers that Maurice's brother, Howard Hilleman, taught his biology class at Custer County High School in his Freshman or Sophomore year (1937=1938 period.
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Posted by Ellen Compton (+36) 16 years ago
Dr. Howard Herbert Martin Hillemann was my father and Dr. Maurice Hillemann was my Uncle. My new e-mail is: [email protected]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11900) 16 years ago
FABULOUS! If I ever get any kind of memorial organized, I'll be in touch. My brother suggested a plaque that said something like "The following percentage of people would not be alive to read this if Dr. Hilleman hadn't been such a smart guy" or words to that effect.

Amorette


[This message has been edited by Amorette Allison (edited 2/18/2006).]
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Posted by frank Masterson (+18) 16 years ago
Dear Amorette Allison,

This refers to your interest in organizing a memorial to Dr. Hilleman.

Last year, I made a portrait plaque of Hilleman (working from a variety of photographs in various stages of his life and his picture which appeared in the Custer County High School yearbook for 1937). The plaque contains a legend mentioning his Miles City birthplace, education at Montana State College and elsewhere, and his having been honored by America and the World Health Organization for vaccines he developed which saved millions from childhood diseases.

Thinking that a location in Miles City would be appropriate for such a memorial, I contacted Mark Browning at the Custer County Art and Historical Center to see if there was interest in such a venture. I sent photos of the small plaque (measuring 12" x 10" x 1"), along with several obituary notices (including one from page one of the New York Times and one from the London Guardian) and a long interview which appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer several years before Hilleman's death.

Mr. Browning advised me on October 18th that he met with his Center's Board of Directors who felt that it was important to commemorate Hilleman and that my plaque was a good way to do it. That Board thought the best spot for it would be the Miles City Library.

I have just been in touch with the Library. The Librarian (Mike Hamlett - ?) told me that the Library's Board of Directors has met and has decided that the placement of the plaque should be referred to the Range Riders Museum as a better site for it. Mike told me today that he would contact Mark Browning regarding such a referral.

I hope something can be worked out, preferably in Miles City. I did mention to Mike that I would take this matter up with Montana State University where they have a microbiolgy department if placement in Miles City is not possible.

Frank Masterson
Fredericksburg, VA
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Posted by Van (+563) 16 years ago
Tell the Library board to pull their heads out of their collective asses and put the plaque where it belongs. In the Library- where after reading the plaque one can pick up a book and read about the good Dr. If not there then in the Library at the high school. It does not belong in a pioneer museum about cowboys.

This is modern history and the man should have a street named after him. Good God, you stuffy dip sticks- wake up this is one of the most influential people in modern history. Oh, never mind it is like beating a dead horse when trying to deal with these old moldies that run this town.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11900) 16 years ago
Sounds like the library board was not consulted. The director is not from Miles City and may have no clue who Dr. Hilleman was. I agree that the library or the high school--although there is another move to build a new high school and leave Miles City with ANOTHER big abandoned building--would be much more appropriate than the Range Riders.

I know Melissa Hartman and Bill Bickle are on the board. Have to talk to them.

Amorette
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Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+401) 16 years ago
The college is another place that has expressed an interest in creating a special memorial garden. Please don't let Miles City miss out on this opportunity. I am very anxiouz to see that we suitably honor all our important contributors to history and society.

Johnnie Lockett Thomas
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11900) 16 years ago
I stand corrected. Mike Hamlett told me that the Board was consulted and they rejected the plaque for a number of reasons. They didn't want the library to be a 'museum.' (Don't want to get into that discussion.) They also were apparently under the impression that Dr. Hilleman left town and never came back and therefore, was undeserving of recognition.

This I disagree with. Even IF Dr. Hilleman had left town after he graduated from Custer County High School and never looked back, I still feel he should be held up as an example of a person who came from a less than advantaged background and went on to have a TREMENDOUS effect on the world. There are literally thousands upon thousands of people who owe him their lives, whether or not he came home to Miles City regularly.

Which. . .as it happens. . .he did. Especially while his aunt was still alive.

As I think about it, the BEST place for a plaque honoring Dr. Hilleman is the high school. He attended Custer County High School. He took science classes upstairs in the old building. The plaque should be there, showing kids that even if they come from a small town, even if their famiy wasn't important or rich or powerful, that they could accomplish something amazing.

Contact the high school and see if they are willing to honor a man who saved thousands of lives AND liked to come home to visit.

Amorette
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 16 years ago
And always know, if you leave Miles City and never look back, no one blames you.
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Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+401) 16 years ago
One news publication headlined Dr. Hilleman as the man who "saved a million lives." It seems to me the whole town, every museum, every school, every institution, every civic organization, every person in Custer County should be willing to come together to honor such a man. I am still going to do my bit to see that I, as an individual and we, the community, do "the right thing."

Johnnie Lockett Thomas
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Posted by Ellen Compton (+36) 16 years ago
Dear Amorette:
One of my cousins sent a copy of an article on my father, Howard Hillemann. It was an article from The Branding Iron, September 1934. It said that Howard H. Hillemann is selected by faculty to represent Custer County High School at M.E.A. meet at Billings. I would like to know what M.E.A. stands for. Thanks for your help.
If a plaque is put on the school to honor my Uncle Maurice Hillemann, I would love to be present to see that. Please let me know if and when this takes place.
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Posted by gypsykim (+1561) 16 years ago
MEA--Montana Education Association
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1278) 16 years ago
This is something that MC should yell to the world!!! I think Van is absolutely right, name a street after him. A high traffic street, not some dead-end street on the far northeast side of town! Plaques everywhere! This is something the city should be most proud of!
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10031) 16 years ago
The headline of this article pretty much seems to sum the significance of Dr. Hilleman's life and his work: The Man Who Saved Your Life . . .

There's some information on his years in Miles towards the middle of the article.

The Man Who Saved Your Life - Maurice R. Hilleman - Developer of Vaccines for Mumps and Pandemic Flu
By Huntly Collins
PHILADELPHIA ENQUIRER
August 30th, 1999
http://www.njabr.org/njso..._hilleman/
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Posted by Stone (+1590) 16 years ago
I just came across this site. What an amazing man. I must admit that I am ashamed but I had never heard of him. The Philadelphia Enquirer article is awesome. Thanks Hal. I am going to make copies of that article and give them to people. Something needs to be done about Miles Cities lack of knowledge and recognition of Dr. Maurice Hilleman's life.

Maybe the Montana History teachers at the high school would be interested in spending at least one day teaching about Dr. Hilleman. Maybe the Hilleman family in conjunction with local scholarship foundation would be interested in doing a science-based scholarship.

Any thoughts on the issue please share and push people to open their eyes.

Brady Stone
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1343) 16 years ago
I would think a plaque like that set up somewhere within the High School biology department would be more then appropriate. The funny thing is this issue just highlights several of the key things wrong with Miles City.

Go walk through the highschool and you'll see hundreds of miniature tributes to people who went to school there and were exceptional state athletes and probably at least half of those went on to scrape a living on minimum wage and having no impact on their own community, let alone the world. Then you have a man that has been responsible for saving more lives then any person in the history of the known world and you have to pass the HONOR of paying tribute to this person around from from one board of directors to another (lets not get into the fact how comical the term board of directors is when referring to anything in Miles City).

Wake up Miles City.
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Posted by Dr. Robert L Jacobson (+15) 14 years ago
I am married to a first cousin of yours. Marie Larson Jacobson is the daughter of Elsie Hilleman Larson. Elsie was the elder sister to Maurice ,Howard ,Victor,Norman,Harold and Walter.
Art Larson, a well known Miles City rancher is Maries brother. Their sister Ann lives over on Winchester.
Nancy Larson is Art's wife and is active at Miles college music activities.
Art and Nancy are well known and very active in social clubs in Miles City.
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