On 9 March 1990 President George H. W. Bush appointed Antonia Coello Novello, M.D., to be surgeon general of the United States. With this appointment Dr. Novello achieved the honor of two historic firsts: the first woman, and the first Hispanic, surgeon general. She served with distinction until 30 June 1993.
While surgeon general, Dr. Novello, a pediatrician, worked hard to improve the health of women, children and minorities. Her primary emphasis with children was on preventing smoking, drinking, drug abuse, and AIDS. She also focused on immunization campaigns and injury prevention. She became a fierce critic of the tobacco industry, accusing them of specifically targeting minors with such advertising campaigns as “Joe Camel.”
The following four newspaper articles are about Dr. Novello, her accomplishments, and her career as surgeon general. The first article reports on her appointment, and the second article profiles her and some family members. The other two articles discuss some of the health campaigns she undertook, including her first major address on smoking.
According to this old newspaper article:
Novello declared her motto would be “good science and good sense,” and thanked President Bush for an appointment she said should be an inspiration to women and minorities.
“The American dream is well and alive,” Novello, the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as surgeon general, said at a White House ceremony. “Once a dream, it is now my pledge: to be a good doctor for all who live in this great country.”
This next newspaper article reminds us how much fun genealogy can be – and provides a valuable search tip. The Novello family lived in Lorain, Ohio, about 30 miles west of Cleveland, and so the Plain Dealer newspaper published a profile of the family. Not only did the family have three doctors spread over two generations, but it also featured Surgeon General Novello’s brother-in-law: Don Novello, better known as Father Guido Sarducci of Saturday Night Live fame!
And the genealogy search tip? Remember to do a wide geographic search for news articles about your ancestors. Although Surgeon General Novello was sworn-in and served in Washington, D.C., articles about her were published all around the country – including Lorain, Ohio.
According to this news article:
[Antonia’s husband Joseph] Novello takes his family’s prominence in stride, a product of his upbringing. His parents were always “more proud of accomplishment than celebrity.’ These days they have both.
This next historical newspaper article reports on one of Surgeon General Novello’s primary campaigns: warning young people about the dangers of smoking.
According to this article:
She [Novello] quotes an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association as saying an estimated 1 billion packs of cigarettes are sold annually to children under 18 years of age.
This next news article reports on Surgeon General Novello winning a case against a brewing company that offended Native Americans by calling its beer “Crazy Horse.”
According to this article:
“It is time we clamp the lids down on profits made at the expense of people’s pride and dignity,” Ms. Novello told a meeting of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
“I probably feel better about this victory for all of us than almost anything else that has happened while I’ve been surgeon general,” she said.
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