Dr. Ron Eckoff has been a member of IPHA since 1968, and served as its president in 1972-73. Since 2010, he has written articles as IPHA’s unofficial historian, chronicling major issues of public health’s past. Read the origin of his historical prowess in his own words:

“I came to the Iowa Department of Public Health in 1965 with no particular interest in history. By the 1980s or 90s I was probably the senior member of the senior staff of the department and it seemed like questions about the history of the department got referred to me. The Biennial Reports of the State Board of Health from 1880 through about 1930 were very detailed and provided an excellent resource. I found them fascinating to read and they are the basic source for many of the articles. In addition, some of the individuals in the department when I started in 1965 had joined the department in the 1920s and 30s which provided another connection to the past.”

The Latest Edition

An Editorial on Diphtheria by Ron Eckoff

The October, 2021 issue of Smithsonian magazine includes an article by Perri Klass, M.D., titled “The Plague Among Children: How We Fought Diphtheria.” In the article, Dr. Klass discusses how Diphtheria brought terror to both the richest and poorest families. Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Alice, died of diphtheria at age 35. W.E.B. Du Bois’ son died from diphtheria at age 2. Pablo Picasso’s sister, Conchita died at age 7. President Grover Cleveland’s oldest child, “Baby Ruth,” died at age 12… READ MORE

The Backlog: Ron’s Past Articles



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