Not So Humble Beginnings

On September 23rd, 1852, William Stewart Halsted was born to a wealthy family in New York City. Much of his youth is a mystery as he was not a man of any particular note until he started at Yale in 1870. He didn’t seem to be a serious student during his four years of attending Yale, backed by the fact that he never once checked out a book from the Yale library.

He was, on the other hand, a solid athlete. In 1873, the first ever football game with 11 players (Yale-Eton) had Halsted star as the captain of the Yale team in which he scored the winning goal.

From 1874 to 1877 Halsted returned to Manhattan to attend the College of Physicians and Surgeons Medical School in New York City. He had an obsession with anatomy which lead to his breakthroughs later in life and as opposed to his time at Yale, was a perfect student at this school.

Halsted planned to take the exam for internship a year early and while his fellow students were spending most of their time nose deep in their rooms studying, Halsted went to Block Island where he relaxed and spent more time trying to understand his studies. Upon his return, his fellow students were pale and beaten down while he was tan and full of life. He was awarded an internship a year ahead of schedule.


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