Dr. Donald Henderson in 2002 with his Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In 2015, the Independent interviewed Dr. Donald Henderson, the man responsible for ridding the world of smallpox
Back in the 1960s, Henderson led World Health Organization’s Global Smallpox Eradication Campaign, which eradicated smallpox worldwide. He was also a major proponent for other immunizations, which saved many children from needless deaths or disabilities.
Henderson said he wasn’t a fan of the anti-vaxxer craze, saying that he didn’t think parents these days realize how serious the diseases that vaccinations prevent are. If they did, he said, he hoped they would feel obligated to protect not only their own children, but children who are too young or sickly to be vaccinated themselves.
“The feeling is, you are part of a social community,” he said at the time, “and it’s not just your child that’s going to be affected.”
According the to the New York Times
, Henderson died on August 19 in a hospice in Maryland, where he suffered complications from a hip fracture. He was 87.