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SiG MT 96 ew people realize the man credited worldwide as having saved more lives than anyone else in the 20th century was a Montana farm kid who grew up raising chickens on his family's modest plot of land in Miles City. at same unassuming boy went on to develop eight of the 14 vaccines children routinely receive today, thereby all but obliterating many of the childhood diseases that were once commonplace throughout the world. In fact, 95 percent of U.S. children now receive the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) he helped to develop – and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Medical experts say the vaccines he created have saved tens of millions of lives around the world. His work has been praised by President Ronald Reagan, a parade of medical leaders, and health organizations spanning the globe, but many people know nothing about him or the stunningly impactful contributions he made to all humankind. Few even know his name. Dr. Maurice Hilleman was born into heartbreak and tragedy on the windswept plains of Eastern Montana on August 30, 1919. "It was a tough life," his widow, Lorraine Hilleman, said maer- of-factly. "He grew up in the harsh eastern plains of the state, barely surviving his birth, and his mother and twin sister died in childbirth." Dr. Hilleman, the youngest of eight, was raised by his childless paternal aunt and uncle, Edith and Bob, at his mother's behest. ey lived in the same farmyard as his biological father, Gustav, and several F Dr. Maurice Hilleman, Director of virus and cell biology research, Merck Institute of Therapeutic research at West Point, checks the growth of a virus in roller tube tissue culture in Pennsylvania on March 7, 1963 Merck Archives, 2021 Montana Farm Boy a Scientific Legend An Unsung Hero's Story of Saving Untold Millions of Lives BY HOLLY MATKIN

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