We're continuing our series on Montanan inventors for National Inventors Month. We continue to stay in the field of medicine for our next inventor. Our previous invention was the Holter monitor, developed by Helena native Norman Holter. Today, we discuss the Miles City man that created eight of the fourteen vaccines used in vaccine schedules to this day; Maurice Hilleman.

The Father of the measles, mumps, and hepatitis vaccines.

Credit: Laura Newman / National Library of Medicine
Credit: Laura Newman / National Library of Medicine
loading...

Maurice Hilleman was born in Miles City, Montana in 1919. According to the book Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases, Hilleman worked on his family's farm just outside the town, attributing much of his success to working with chickens as a child, because fertilized eggs are used to grow viruses for vaccines.

Hilleman's team is responsible for the creation of more than 40 vaccines including measles, mumps, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, pneumonia, rubella, and the Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. The measles vaccine alone is credited with saving countless lives alone.

Montana born, raised, and educated

Credit: Lorraine Hilleman / National Library of Medicine
Credit: Lorraine Hilleman / National Library of Medicine
loading...

Hilleman graduated from the University of Montana after the Great Depression with a Bachelor's Degree in Microbiology and Chemistry, then moved on to the University of Chicago for his graduate education. In 1957, he joined Merck & Company and stayed until his retirement at the age of 65.

Get our free mobile app

Hilleman passed away on April 11, 2005, at the age of 85 due to cancer. His knowledge and life-saving inventions are remembered even to this day, and as a fellow Montanan, I salute him. We should be proud to call this man one of our own from Big Sky Country.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

KEEP READING: See 25 natural ways to boost your immune system

More From 94.9 KYSS FM