Science, Inventions, Medicine, and Aerospace


Who is Benjamin Carson?

Benjamin Solomon Carson (1951–) gained international acclaim when he separated seven-month-old West German twins who were conjoined at the backs of their heads. On September 6, 1987, Carson led a seventy-member surgical team in a twenty-two-hour operation at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to perform the first successful operation of this kind. Carson was born in Detroit and raised in an inner city neighborhood. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1973 and his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1977. After completing an internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Carson moved to Western Australia and became senior neurosurgical resident at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, a leading center for brain surgery. In 1985 he returned to Johns Hopkins, became one of its leading surgeons, and, at age thirty-four, was promoted to director of pediatric neurosurgery, becoming one of the youngest such directors in the country. He became especially successful in performing high-risk operations. The life story of Carson, based on the best-selling book Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, was made into a television movie and aired on TNT on February 7, 2009. President George W. Bush awarded Carson the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 “for his skills as a surgeon, high moral standards and dedication to helping others.”


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