The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

Time Period
1877 to 1924
Media Type
Science & Technology
John M. Barry

As part of the Health in History Series, cosponsored with the MCV Foundation, on September 20, 2018, John M. Barry delivered the lecture entitled "The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History."

A century ago—at the height of World War I—history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. The disease claimed more lives in twenty-four weeks than AIDS has claimed in thirty-seven years, and more than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision between modern science and epidemic disease.


John M. Barry is an award-winning and New York Times best-selling author whose book The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History was named the year’s outstanding book on science or medicine by The National Academies of Science’s in 2004.

After weaving together a dramatic story of triumph amid tragedy in the face of a global pandemic, Barry will  join a panel of specialists from the VCU School of Medicine who will discuss the role they are playing today in the research, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases.


Peter Buckley, M.D. – Dean, VCU School of Medicine, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System


John M. Barry – Distinguished Scholar at Tulane's Bywater Institute and adjunct professor at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Gonzalo Martin Llorens Bearman, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., F.S.H.E.A., F.I.D.S.A. – Chair, Division of Infectious Diseases, VCU School of Medicine, Richard P. Wenzel Professor of Internal Medicine Hospital Epidemiologist, VCU Health System

Michael Donnenberg, M.D. – Senior Associate Dean for Research and Research Training, VCU School of Medicine, Professor of Internal Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology

This program is made possible by a generous grant from the Virginia Sargeant Reynolds Foundation and is cosponsored with the MCV Foundation.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

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