September 13


September 13, 1957 Keith Lanier Black, neurosurgeon specializing in the treatmen of brain tumors, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Unwilling to enroll their son in the substandard segregated high school, the family moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio. At 17, Black won the Westinghouse Science Award in a national competition for research on the damage done to red blood cells in patients with heart-valve replacements. Black completed an accelerated college program at the University of Michigan Medical School and earned both his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine degrees in 1981. In 1987, Black moved to the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center and in 1997 joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute. In 2007, he opened the Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Brain Tumor Center at Cedars-Sinai. Black is noted for his busy surgery schedule, performing about 250 brain surgeries a year and as of 2009 more than 5,000 in total. In 1997, Time magazine featured Black on the cover of a special edition titled “Heroes of Medicine.” Esquire magazine included him in its 1999 “Genius Issue” as one of the “21 Most Important People of the 21st Century.” In 2009, Black published his autobiography “Brain Surgeon.”


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