Rudolf Virchow (Anthropologist) – Bio, Birthday, Family, Age & Born
Rudolf Virchow

Rudolf Ludwig Carl Virchow was a German physician, anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist, writer, editor, and politician. He is known as “the father of modern pathology” and as the founder of social medicine, and to his colleagues, the “Pope of medicine”. He received the Copley Medal in 1892. He was a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and was elected to the Prussian Academy of Sciences, but he declined to be ennobled as “von Virchow”. Virchow studied medicine at the Friedrich-Wilhelms Institute under Johannes Peter Müller. He worked at the Charité hospital under Robert Froriep, whom he succeeded as the prosector. His investigation of the 1847–1848 typhus epidemic in Upper Silesia laid the foundation for public health in Germany, and paved his political and social careers. From it, he coined a well known aphorism: “Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale”.

Born: October 13, 1821, Schivelbein, Pomerania, Kingdom of Prussia, German Confederation
Died: September 5, 1902, Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Resting place: Alter St-Matthäus-Kirchhof, Schöneberg
Nationality: Prussian
Fields: Medicine, Anthropology
Institutions: Charité, University of Würzburg
Alma mater: University of Berlin
Thesis: de rheumate praesertim corneae (1843)
Other academic advisors: Robert Froriep
Notable students: Ernst Haeckel, Edwin Klebs, Franz Boas, Adolph Kussmaul, Friedrich Daniel von Recklinghausen, Max Westenhöfer, William Osler, William H. Welch
Known for: Cell theory, Cellular pathology, Biogenesis, Virchow’s triad
Influenced: Eduard Hitzig, Charles Scott Sherrington, Paul Farmer
Notable awards: Copley Medal (1892)
Spouse: Ferdinande Rosalie Mayer (a.k.a. Rose Virchow)

About Rudolf Virchow

German, doctor, anthropologist and biologist who is known as “the father of modern pathology.” In his career he discredited the scientific theory of Humorism, which postulated that humans had four distinct bodily fluids and that a deficiency of one had a great effect on a person’s health.

Before Fame

He grew up on a farm, but left home to study Chemistry and Medicine in Berlin.


In 1861, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and in 1892, he was awarded the Copley Medal.

Family Life

Rudolf’s parents were named Johanna Hesse and Carl Virchow.


Another famous German scientist like him is Werner Heisenberg.

Information related to Rudolf Virchow

  • Rudolf Virchow Category
  • German Free-minded Party politicians
  • German agnostics
  • German Progress Party politicians
  • German paleoanthropologists
  • Members of the Prussian House of Representatives
  • German anthropologists
  • Prehistorians
  • German pathologists
  • University of Würzburg faculty
  • University of Würzburg alumni
  • German biologists
  • German Protestants
  • Recipients of the Copley Medal
  • Corresponding Members of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences
  • 19th-century German writers
  • Humboldt University of Berlin faculty
  • Recipients of the Pour le Mérite (civil class)

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Latest information about Rudolf Virchow updated on September 04, 2020.

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