Virginia Apgar


7 June 1909 – 7 August 1974

Place of study: 

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S), USA

Famous for: 

  • Virginia Apgar is best known as the inventor of the Apgar Score, a way to quickly assess the health of a newborn immediately after birth. 
  • Because Apgar realized that “Birth is the most hazardous time of life,” she designed a system for quick and accurate assessment of a baby’s health in the crucial minutes after birth. 
  • She was one of Columbia University’s first female MDs and one of the first American women to specialize in anesthesia.


Honorary doctorates from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (1964) and Mount Holyoke College (1965)

 Elizabeth Blackwell Award (1966)

Distinguished Service Award (1966)

Ralph M. Waters Award (1973)

Woman of the Year in Science (1973)

Fun fact:

The Virginia Apgar Award is given every year by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions in the field of perinatal pediatrics.