Dr. William Thomas Love was born on October
20, 1901 in Wainesville, North Carolina to James and
Ida Love. His parents, being committed to his education,
supported his attendance at Knoxville College in Tennessee
and Boston College in Massachusetts, where he graduated
in 1922 and 1924, respectively.
a master's degree in psychology from the University
of Michigan in 1926, entered the medical school there,
and graduated in 1930. Following an internship and residency
at People's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, he moved
to Detroit to open a private practice in 1932. Dr. Love's
hospital practice included serving at several black-owned
and-operated facilities, such as Kirwood General, Burton
Mercy, and Edyth K. Thomas Memorial Hospitals, as well
as on the staffs of Woman's (Hutzel) and Grace Hospitals.
also an Assistant Wayne County Medical Examiner, a position
he began in 1934. Dr. Love's commitment to accurate
testimony led him to take classes at the Detroit College
of Law, although he never earned a law degree.
late 1940's, he helped found The Seminar Society, a
group of scholars dedicated to increasing knowledge
by researching and writing in fields other than those
of their expertise.
the years, Dr. Love became interested in infant mortality,
especially the phenomenon of crib death, otherwise known
as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
was a member of the National Medical Association, Wayne
County Medical Society, the Detroit Medical Society,
Michigan State Medical Society, Omega Psi Phi fraternity,
and Sigma Pi Phi Boule, a national honor society.
in July, 1966, shortly before he and his wife, Josephine
Harreld Love, planned a move to Cambridge, Massachusetts,
where she had obtained a scholar-in-residence position
at Radcliffe College.
Harreld Love was born December 11, 1914 in Atlanta,
Georgia. She graduated from Spelman College in 1933
and completed a post-graduate year at The Julliard School
of Music in 1934. In 1936, she received a master's degree
in musicology from Radcliffe College and subsequently
attended the Mozart Academy in Austria.
Dr. Love in Detroit in 1940 and they married in Atlanta
in July of 1941. Mrs.
Love was a scholar-in-residence at Radcliffe College
from 1966-1969, with the last year of her studies having
to be carried out in Paris, France.
in her career, she taught piano and introduced African
American youngsters to the arts through personally sponsored
field trips to museums, plays, concerts, and other cultural
events. Upon her return to Detroit, she co-founded the
Heritage House and Fine Arts Center for Young People
in 1969, where she continues as director.
Love discusses the relationship African American
physicians had with the community
Do you recall whether the African American community
in general had particular kinds of health beliefs or
attitudes that might have in some ways affected how
they related to the medical community?
I think the doctor was a revered figure with our people.
They were like ministers, you know. There was a certain
kind of symbolism that went along with that so that
they played a very special role in people's lives, because
they really treated the whole person. They were concerned
example, I very often run into people who are no longer
young, who were my husband's patients when they were
children. One of the things that he liked to do was
to deliver children and then to take care of them after
he delivered them. He liked the sequence of treatment.
And I have people who are grown adults now who tell
me how they did not fear going to see him because of
his kindliness and his interest-the interest that he
took in them not only as patients, but as persons, and
the interest he took in where they were going to school,
and where they would be going to college, and the encouragement
that he gave them.