St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded by entertainer and humanitarian Danny Thomas, was one man's promise that’s become an unprecedented beacon of hope and healing for the world. The single, star-shaped building that opened on Feb. 4, 1962, has given way to a 66-acre campus where research and treatments have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent when the hospital opened to more than 80 percent today. In this series, we share the stories of those who helped make St. Jude a reality, right from the start, and those who helped it become what it is today.
Sure cure for the blues: How St. Jude founder Danny Thomas put the street back into Beale Street
‘Bring Back Our Beale Street’ swayed city fathers and raised funds for his beloved cause, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Rev. Melvin Smith: 'Another Side of Humanity'
As the segregationist laws of the 1950s and ‘60s kept African Americans from advancing socially and professionally, St. Jude offered a safe environment where equality was the order of the day.
One of the most remarkable lives of 20th Century America began on Jan. 6, 1914 — the birthdate of Danny Thomas. He achieved fame as a TV star, but his greatest role was raising the funds to build St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, on the belief that no child should die in the dawn of life.
Legacy of a Cure: The Life of Dr. Brian Sorrentino
In a race against time, Dr. Brian Sorrentino helped introduce the word 'cure' to the devastating disease known as bubble boy. He died of cancer just a week after seeing proof that his gene therapy worked.
St. Jude A to Z
H is for Hope: Take an A-to-Z look at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and how it came to be.
Jack Vosse: Leaving a Legacy for St. Jude
A long-time St. Jude donor, Jack Vosse sheepishly admits he crashed the opening of the hospital in 1962. In the years since, he's learned supporting St. Jude requires no special invitation.
Making History at St. Jude: Dr. Rudolph Jackson
When St. Jude opened in 1962, Danny Thomas vowed the hospital would treat patients regardless of race, religion or ability to pay. In 1968, Dr. Rudolph Jackson became one of the first black doctors at St. Jude.
Paul Williams: Architect to Stars and St. Jude
Paul Williams, an African-American architect who made his name designing homes for stars like Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball, donated his services to help his friend Danny Thomas build St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.