Rachel Fuller Brown

by Ashley from USA

A hero can be an ordinary person like a fireman or a policeman. Also a hero could be a person who does good deeds for others, like my hero Rachel Fuller Brown. Rachel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on November 23, 1898. She moved to Webster Groves, Missouri when she was a young girl. She went to college in Chicago, Illinois. Brown worked and lived in Albany, New York for the New York State Department of Health when she was older.

My hero, Rachel Brown, received the Chemical Pioneer Award with her associate Elizabeth Hazen. They received the award because Brown and Hazen discovered an antibiotic for fungal infections. During that time people used antibiotic for illness, but the antibiotic would sometimes have a side effect. If you didn’t use an antibiotic it could lead to other diseases or infections.

Soil was sometimes used to make antibiotics to kill fungal disease. Since that was a good medicine, Hazen and Brown went to one of Hazen’s friend’s dairy farm in Virginia and took some soil to test out in the test lab. In 1951, Brown and Hazen discovered two more antibiotics called phalamycin and capacidin.

Brown and Hazen had also received the Squibb Award in Chemotherapy in 1955. Rachel Brown retired from her job in 1968. Two other awards they received were the Distinguished Service Award and the Rhoda Benham Award of the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas. They received both awards in 1972. Rachel had published the book Chemist before she died in 1980.

Rachel wished in the future that there would be “Equal opportunities and accomplishments for all scientists’ regardless of sex.” Rachel Brown inspired me because she didn’t care if women were not allowed to enter “tough” science and men can, but she did. She kept trying until she got it right and she was unwilling to give up even if the job was tough. Rachel Brown made a difference in my life because I wanted to join a soccer team. I had to practice soccer every single day. I also studied tactics and watched a movie about people playing soccer. Finally, I made the soccer team. Now when I play soccer I think of Rachel Brown because she was determined to make an antibiotic and she did and I was determined to make the soccer team and I did. She made a difference by showing me determination pays off. Also she taught me that you can do anything as long as you try. Rachel Brown died on January 14, 1980, but even though she is not here I’ll always remember her as my hero.

Page created on 1/25/2005 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 2/25/2019 7:15:58 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.


McClure, Judy. Healers and Researchers. New York: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 2000.

Unknown. UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. New York:2003. Volume 8.

Unknown. "Rachel Brown." [Online] Available