Before the advancements of modern medicine, death from childhood infections was quite common, and is still common in many developing countries today. This list is full of famous people who survived potentially fatal childhood diseases. After beating the odds when they were young, they went on to change the world.If these people had not survived their brushes with death, the world might not be the same place it is today. Chew on that while you read their stories.
Historians think George Washington was plagued by several diseases throughout his life. First, when he was 15, he got diptheria, a common childhood infection which was often fatal. Then, when he was 17, he got malaria, which doesn't often happen in the United States now, but was very common back then. As if that wasn't enough, he got smallpox when he was 19. That experience inspired him to have all the soldiers in the Colonial Army vaccinated for smallpox.Washington continued to suffer from other diseases throughout his life, until he finally died from complications from the flu.
Age: Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)
Birthplace: Contiguous United States, United States of America, United States, with Territories, Westmoreland County, + moresee more on George Washington
Birthplace: Klerksdorp, South Africasee more on Desmond Tutu
Age: Dec. at 84 (1847-1931)
Birthplace: Milan, Ohio, United States of Americasee more on Thomas Edison
Age: Dec. at 75 (1878-1953)
Birthplace: Gori, Georgiasee more on Joseph Stalin