Inventor of the Blood Bank
• Born in Washington, D.C.
• Great athlete, Average student
• Middle class interracial neighborhood
• He was African American, but part
English, Scot, and Indian
• Athletic scholarship to Amherst
• 1938- Residency at McGill University,
• 1940- Doctor of Medical Science degree
from Columbia University
• 1941- Established American Red Cross
Blood Bank and resigned the same year
• 1935-1950 Professor at Howard University
• Civil Rights- accomplishments of an
• Education- Charles R. Drew University of
Medicine and Science in Los Angeles
• Medicine- universal use of plasma as a
• Science- understanding properties of
blood and transfusions
• His research was accepted immediately.
His findings saved lives of American
Citizens and therefore was not questioned
because of race.
• However his resignation as Director of the
ARC Blood Bank and his death are both
surrounded by racial tensions.
• Dr. Drew died in a car accident near
Burlington, N.C. It has been rumored that
he was denied treatment by a whites only
hospital. It has been documented by the
other African American doctors in the car
that the owner of the hospital himself
helped attempt to save Dr. Drew.
• Time Magazine March,1968 printed an
article stating that he “bled to death” after
“he was turned away by an all white
Relevance to Biology
• Competency Goal 2
• 2.03 Investigate and analyze the cell as a living
– Maintenance of homeostasis.
– Movement of materials into and out of cells..
• 2.03, 3) Discussion of Charles Drew and his
impact on blood donation and blood banks.
Energy use and release in biochemical reactions
• 2.04 Investigate and describe the structure and
function of enzymes and explain their
importance in biological systems.
• 2.05 Investigate and analyze the bioenergetic
Relevance to Biology Strand:
Science and Technology in Society
• “Science and technology also reflect a
culture's values. Consider, for example,
how the acceptance of new ideas can be
constrained by the environment in which
they are conceived. Galileo's efforts to
change perceptions of Earth's place in the
• Gordon, R.C. Charles R. Drew: surgeon, scientist, and educator. Journal of
investigative surgery: the official journal of the Academy of Surgical Research.
• Black Vacuum. Time Magazine, March 29, 1968.
• Trice, Linda. Charles Drew: Pioneer of Blood Plasma. New York : McGraw-Hill, 2000.
• Wynes, Charles E. Charles Richard Drew: The man and the myth. University of
Illinois Press. 1988.
• Human body: systems at work. V.1 Circulatory system: the plasma pipeline. The
Cambridge Research Group, Ltd. Storyline Pictures. Publisher Lawrenceville,
NJ. Cambridge Educational, c2005.