Antonia C Novello Biography

Surgeon (1944–)
Antonia C. Novello is a former U.S. surgeon general who was the first woman and first person of Latin descent to hold the position.


Born on August 23, 1944, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Antonia C. Novello studied medicine and became a deputy director with the National Institutes of Health. In 1990, she was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as the first female and Latin U.S. surgeon general. She focused on AIDS prevention, underage smoking and women’s health, among other items. She later worked for UNICEF and New York state.

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