Frederick Banting

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Sir Frederick Grant Banting, KBE, MC, FRSC (November 14, 1891 – February 21, 1941) was a Canadian medical scientist, doctor and Nobel laureate noted as one of the main discoverers of insulin.

In 1923 Banting and John James Rickard Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Banting shared the award money with his colleague, Dr. Charles Best. The Canadian government gave him a lifetime annuity to work on his research. In 1934 King George V bestowed a knighthood on him, making him Sir Frederick Banting.

In 2004, Frederick Banting was voted 4th place on The Greatest Canadian.


Early years

Frederick Banting was born on 14 November 1891, in the downstairs front bedroom of a farm house near Alliston, Ontario.[1] He was the youngest of five[2] children of William Thompson Banting and Margaret (née Grant). Educated at the Public and High Schools at Alliston. He attempted to enter the army but was refused due to poor eyesight. He later went to the University of Toronto to study divinity, but soon transferred to the study of medicine.

In 1916 he took his M.B. degree and at once joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps, since the outbreak of World War One created a need for greater numbers of medics. In 1918 he was wounded at the battle of Cambrai. He helped other wounded men for a total of 16 hours, even with his wound, before another doctor made him stop. In 1919 he was awarded the Military Cross for heroism under fire. (There were 150,000 nominations but only 2877 awards.)

At war's end, Banting returned to Canada and was for a short time a medical practitioner in London, Ontario. He studied orthopaedic medicine; during the year 1919-1920 he was Resident Surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. From 1920 until 1921, while he kept his general practice, he taught orthopaedics and anthropology part-time at the University of Western Ontario at London, Canada. From 1921 until 1922 he was Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Toronto. In 1922 he was awarded an M.D. degree, together with a gold medal.

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