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Honoring Quentin D. Young, MD

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group's founder Quentin D. Young, MD passed away in 2016. A tireless warrior for social justice, Quentin contributed much to our organization and the community at large. To honor his legacy, remembrances of Quentin can be found here on our blog, and you may view a tribute from Health & Medicine's Executive Director Margie Schaps here. If you would like to share a story or tribute with us, please send it to To make a gift in memory of Dr. Quentin Young, please click here.

Quentin D. Young, 1923-2016
Born on Chicago’s South Side, Quentin Young was drawn to politics and the struggle for justice at an early age after seeing the oppressive rise to power of Hitler and Moussolini and (closer to home) the 1937 Memorial Day Massacre where Chicago police killed unarmed demonstrators supporting striking steelworkers.

Always a doctor and activist, Quentin provided care for Freedom Summer volunteers in Mississippi as part of the Medical Committee for Human Rights. He did the same for those hurt during the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention protests and was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee for his involvement. He was the local physician to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and marched at his side during the Marquette Park protest; he treated the Chicago Seven, the Beatles, Studs Terkel, Mayor Harold Washington, and many of Chicago’s most famous residents.

He trained, worked, and was eventually named Chairman of the Department of Medicine at his beloved Cook County Hospital while maintaining a private practice in Hyde Park. In addition to medicine, Quentin was a lifelong supporter of single-payer healthcare and a leader in public health policy. Appalled by the conditions for both patients and staff at segregated Chicago hospitals, he and his colleagues seized the opportunity presented by the tragic Laura Lingo case to prove using demographic data that racial discrimination existed in Chicago medical institutions and to implement policies encouraging change. Quentin served as President of the Chicago Board of Health and President of the American Public Health Association.

In 1981, Quentin co-founded Health & Medicine Policy Research Group where his legacy as an activist, teacher, mentor, and leader on behalf of health equity continues. He was unwavering and optimistic in his quest for change, and he leaves a giant footprint on the movement to address inequities and the hearts of all who knew him.

 If you would like to share a story or tribute with us, please send it to To make a gift in memory of Dr. Quentin Young, please click here.