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Remembering Health & Medicine's Founder Dr. Quentin Young: Civil rights leader and physician to Martin Luther King, Jr. Passes Away at 92

Chicago, Ill., March 8, 2016 – Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (Health & Medicine) is saddened to announce that the organization’s founder, Quentin D. Young, MD, passed away yesterday at his home in California at the age of 92. A tireless fighter for social justice and respected physician to Mayor Harold Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King among others, Dr. Young will be remembered for his commitment to progressive causes.

“Every morning I was greeted by my colleague, my mentor, my friend Quentin Young at the office we shared for over 20 years at Health & Medicine Policy Research Group,” Health & Medicine’s Executive Director Margie Schaps shared.  “We’d get to work each day, sometimes beginning with talk about the County health system, sometimes the state, sometimes the nation.  No matter what problem we were trying to solve, Quentin always had a quote from Shakespeare or George Bernard Shaw that would illuminate the issue. Only Quentin could pull up those quotes at exactly the right moment.”

In 1981, Dr. Young co-founded Health & Medicine where his legacy as an activist, teacher, mentor, and leader on behalf of health equity continues. In addition to his role at Health & Medicine, Dr. Young served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine Cook County Hospital, was President of the Chicago Board of Health, and President of the American Public Health Association as well as maintaining a private practice in Hyde Park.

Always a doctor and activist, Dr. Young 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. A lifelong advocate for a single-payer health care system and numerous other progressive causes, Dr. Young published his autobiography, Everybody in Nobody Out: Memoirs of a Rebel without a Pause, in 2013.

“Quentin’s extraordinary intellect, his moral compass, combined with his total recall of history always led us to a clear path as we tried to solve the challenges in front of us. Quentin taught me to always stand in solidarity with the struggles of working men and women, that no rally was too small to attend, that any opportunity to get our message across was worth taking, that every individual injustice is an injustice to all of us.  In his words, you could get a lot accomplished if you didn’t have to take the credit and if you linked arms with others in struggle,” Schaps said.

Information about memorial services will be available soon; please check for details. In lieu of flowers, his family requests that memorial donations be directed to Health & Medicine or Physicians for a National Health Program. Please contact Director of Development and Communication Magda Slowik at or (312) 372-4292 ext. 30 for interview requests or additional information.