William Foege

The Associated Press

One of the northwest’s best kept secrets is a person. He’s Bill Foege, a physician and Northwest native, who recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  

Foege went to Nigeria and figured out how to eradicate smallpox – the only human disease ever wiped off the planet. He also ran the nation’s top public health agency, the CDC. More recently, he helped shape the mission of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Tom Paulson, of KPLU's Humanosphere blog, sat down with Bill Foege at his Vashon home to learn more about why people from Seattle are such a force globally. Click the listen button above to hear the interview.

Read Tom Paulson's first-person take on Bill Foege's life and work on Humanosphere.

Tom Paulson

President Obama has announced the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Among the honorees is William Foege. The Vashon Island doctor developed a vaccination plan that wiped out small pox.