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Digital Pharmacist Blog

This Father’s Day We’re Paying Tribute to William Procter, Jr., the Father of Pharmacy

Last updated May 20, 2020 | Just For Fun

William Procter, Jr. (1817-1874)
Image Courtesy of Kremers and Urdang’s History of Pharmacy

William Procter, Jr. is recognized as the “Father of American Pharmacy.”  He was a practitioner, experimenter, editor, association leader and professor.  His vigorous leadership, energy and enthusiasm are a few reasons why he is considered one of the most admired American pharmacists.

William was born in Baltimore, MD., May 3, 1817 to Issac Procter and Rebecca Farquhar. After the death of his father, and at the age of 14, he moved to Pennsylvania and worked at Henry M. Zollickoffer’s pharmacy where he spent his leisure time studying chemistry and pharmacy.

Following graduation from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1837, he opened a drugstore in 1844. He spent his time conducting new investigations, developing new preparations and studying the formulas of the pharmacopoeia in order to improve them.

In 1846, he became a professor at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. From 1850 to 1871, William led the American Journal of Pharmacy. He is also known for writing the first textbook on pharmacy for American students.

He is also responsible for presenting the idea for a national American pharmaceutical association to the Convention of Pharmaceutics and Druggists in October 15 -16th, 1851 in New York. As a result of his advocacy and drive, the association was founded a year later.

William’s trailblazing impact set the stage for pharmacy today. Throughout his career, he is known for doing more than any other person to advance the interests of the science of pharmacy and to popularize an education in pharmaceuticals.

Happy Father’s Day to William Procter, Jr. and to all the fathers out there. Whether you are a current or soon-to-be father, may your day be extra special.

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