Johns Hopkins, a rich Baltimore merchant, left the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the United States when he died in 1873. Nearly $7 million were divided equally between the prospective Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital; the Medical School was linked to both of them. He thereby initiated a revolution in American medical education and medical care.
A few individuals were responsible for these rapid developments. President Gilman, the first president of the Hopkins, and William Henry Welch, a young pathologist and dean of the medical school, were scientists. Sir William Osler was a great humanist and clinician. William S. Halsted developed meticulous surgical techniques in the laboratory as well as the operating theater. Howard A. Kelly was a dextrous, capable surgeon. The last major architect was Abraham Flexner, who, in 1910, delivered his kiss of death to half of the medical schools in the country