Alexander Fleming

Academic

1881 – 1955

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Who was Alexander Fleming?

Fleming was born on 6 August 1881 at Lochfield farm near Darvel, in Ayrshire, Scotland. He was the third of the four children of farmer Hugh Fleming from his second marriage to Grace Stirling Morton, the daughter of a neighbouring farmer. Hugh Fleming had four surviving children from his first marriage. He was 59 at the time of his second marriage, and died when Alexander was seven.

Fleming went to Loudoun Moor School and Darvel School, and earned a two-year scholarship to Kilmarnock Academy before moving to London, where he attended the Royal Polytechnic Institution. After working in a shipping office for four years, the twenty-year-old Fleming inherited some money from an uncle, John Fleming. His elder brother, Tom, was already a physician and suggested to his younger sibling that he should follow the same career, and so in 1903, the younger Alexander enrolled at St Mary's Hospital Medical School in Paddington; he qualified with an MBBS degree from the school with distinction in 1906.

Fleming had been a private in the London Scottish Regiment of the Volunteer Force since 1900, and had been a member of the rifle club at the medical school. The captain of the club, wishing to retain Fleming in the team suggested that he join the research department at St Mary's, where he became assistant bacteriologist to Sir Almroth Wright, a pioneer in vaccine therapy and immunology. In 1908, he gained a BSc degree with Gold Medal in Bacteriology, and became a lecturer at St Mary's until 1914. On 23 December 1915, Fleming married a trained nurse, Sarah Marion McElroy of Killala, County Mayo, Ireland.

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Born
Aug 6, 1881
Lochfield
Also known as
  • Sir Alexander Fleming
Parents
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Catholicism
Ethnicity
  • Scottish people
Nationality
  • United Kingdom
Profession
Education
  • University of Westminster
  • Kilmarnock Academy
    (1894/08/28 - )
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, St Mary's Hospital Medical School
    (1903 - 1906)
Employment
  • Clydesdale Bank
  • Guy's Hospital
Lived in
  • East Ayrshire
Died
Mar 11, 1955
London

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Alexander Fleming." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Nov. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/alexander_fleming>.

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