Founder of Connaught Laboratories and champion of public health
John FitzGerald was the eldest son of a pharmacist of Irish lineage. At age 16 he left home for the University of Toronto Medical School, graduating in 1903 as the youngest in his class. While Dr. FitzGerald began his career in psychiatry and neuropathology, the successes of scientists such as Louis Pasteur fueled a keen interest in bacteriology and the possibilities of preventive medicine.
In partnership with the University of Toronto, Dr. John FitzGerald founded the Connaught Laboratories in 1914 and later became the first director of the University of Toronto’s School of Hygiene. Together, the two institutions laid the foundation for provincial and federal health programs across Canada.