Miriam Esther Brailey

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Miriam Esther Brailey
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Born(1900-01-28)January 28, 1900
East Barnard, Vermont, USA
DiedApril 8, 1976(1976-04-08) (aged 76)
Kingston, New York, USA
Cause of deathPneumonia
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma mater
  • Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health
  • Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Physician
  • Epidemiologist

Miriam Esther Brailey (January 28, 1900, East Barnard, Vermont - April 8, 1976) M.D., Dr.P.H. was an American physician and epidemiologist.[1]

Brailey graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Before that, she was a 1922 graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a major in zoology.[1]

While at Johns Hopkins, she studied with Wade Hampton Frost, working on his tuberculosis studies. Much of their data came from the Harriet Lane Children's Home on the grounds of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she later served as director. Her thesis titled "A preliminary analysis of certain records of the tuberculosis clinic of the Harriet Lane Home: I. Tuberculosis infection in children of tuberculous families; II. The history to adolescence of children shown to be tuberculous during infancy." was unpublished. [1]

During the 1930s, Brailey became an Instructor in both the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine and in the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Hygiene and Public Health (their first female faculty member). [1]

Maryland passed the Subversive Activities Act (also known as the Ober Act) in 1949 which “ called for state and city employees to sign an oath of loyalty stating that they were not and had never been involved in subversive activities.” At that time, Brailey was working for the Health Department. Rather than sign the paperwork, she and two other Quakers refused. She stated that her “conscience would be very uneasy if I purchased the continuation of my job at the price of cooperating with legislation which I think is dangerous and undemocratic and will accomplish nothing.” In March 1950, she was terminated from her position.[1]

She was named Assistant Professor in Epidemiology in February 1951, shortly before being appointed Assistant Professor in Pediatrics and Medicine and Director of the Tuberculosis Section of the Chest Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.[1]

Brailey died of pneumonia near Kingston, New York.[1]


  • Tuberculosis in White and Negro Children, Volume 2Commonwealth Fund, 1958[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Gerczak, Charlotte F. "The Courage of Her Convictions: The Story of Miriam Brailey" (PDF). Maryland Historical Society. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  2. Tuberculosis in White and Negro Children - Miriam Esther Brailey, Janet B. Hardy

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