Physician and scholar Dr. James McCune Smith is believed to be the first African-American man to earn a degree in medicine. After he was denied college admission in the United States, he moved to Scotland and earned his medical degree there in 1837.

Smith also is believed to be the first black physician to publish articles in U.S. medical journals. His writings include texts on science, education, racism and literature.

The New York City native died in 1865. He was 52.

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