The Honorable Louis W. Sullivan, MD

Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1989 to 1993)

Chairman, the National Health Museum

Chairman, the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions




For Immediate Release                                                                                       Contact:  Gayle Converse


January 24, 2014                                                                                                404.989.0534  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Louis W. Sullivan Biography Topic for Tavis Smiley Show


Washington, DC – Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine by former Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Louis W. Sullivan, MD, will be a featured topic on the “Tavis Smiley Show” January 24-26, 2014.  Smiley hailed the Sullivan biography as “rich in texture,” and “(a book) that ought to be done.”  The radio program was recorded Jan. 23.


In Breaking Ground, Sullivan recounts his extraordinary life beginning with his childhood in Jim Crow south Georgia and continuing through his trailblazing endeavors training to become a physician in an almost entirely white environment in the Northeast, founding and then leading the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in Atlanta, and serving as secretary of HHS in President George H. W. Bush’s administration. Throughout this extraordinary life Sullivan has passionately championed both improved health care and increased access to medical professions for the poor and people of color.  The book has received endorsements from former President George H.W. Bush, former HHS Secretary Joseph Califano, former Ambassador Andrew Young, and others.


After becoming founding dean of MSM, Sullivan served as president of the institution for more than two decades.  He retired July 1, 2002 and was appointed president emeritus of MSM. 


He served as chair of the President’s Commission on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from 2002-2009, and was co-chair of the President’s Commission on HIV and AIDS from 2001-2006.


Currently, Sullivan is chairman of the board of the National Health Museum in Atlanta, whose goal is to improve the health of Americans by enhancing health literacy and advancing healthy behaviors. He also serves as chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions. 


Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine (with David Chanoff, 2014, University of Georgia Press) will be published in early February, 2014.  Sullivan is also the author of The Morehouse


Mystique: Becoming a Doctor at the Nation’s Newest African American Medical School (withMarybeth Gasman, 2012, Johns Hopkins University Press)



The “Tavis Smiley Show” can be heard nationwide.  For a complete radio station listing and show schedule, please visit: