Dr Lemuel Whitley Diggs

Photo added by GettysBern

Dr Lemuel Whitley Diggs

Hampton, Hampton City, Virginia, USA
Death 8 Jan 1995 (aged 95)
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Clarendon, Orleans County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 20386418 View Source
Suggest Edits

Medical pioneer, leader in sickle cell research and co-founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. A native of Hampton, Virginia, Diggs received his undergraduate and master's degrees from Randolph-Macon College. His medical degree was from Johns Hopkins University. Through the efforts of Dr. Diggs, the first blood bank in the southern United States was established in 1938. In 1942, with a nation at war and preparing for civil defense, he urged hospitals throughout the nation to collect, store, and dispense whole blood and plasma. After Diggs arrived in Memphis in 1948, he began to research sickle cell disease cases. Little was known about this disease that was found mostly in African Americans. His study of the topic was instrumental in teaching and making the world aware of rare blood diseases. Diggs also aided in helping singer-actor Danny Thomas create St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. Diggs was the only doctor in Memphis involved in the study of sickle cell disease and leukemia. It was Diggs who suggested that St. Jude Hospital be devoted to the study of childhood diseases. He also authored a book called "Morphology of Human Blood Cells," a text book that is still used by medical students today. Diggs spent more than six decades researching blood diseases. He died of organ failure at his home in Memphis at the age of 95.

Bio by: GettysBern

Family Members



In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees



How famous was Dr Lemuel Whitley Diggs?

Current rating:

22 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: GettysBern
  • Added: 10 Jul 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 20386418
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Lemuel Whitley Diggs (8 Jan 1900–8 Jan 1995), Find a Grave Memorial ID 20386418, citing Hillside Cemetery, Clarendon, Orleans County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .