Interview with Louise Cavagnaro, July 19, 1999
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Louise Cavagnaro, originally from Portland, Oregon, was a major figure in the history of the Johns Hopkins Hospital for the last half of the twentieth century. She served as an operating nurse in combat zones during World War II and the director of nursing in Hiroshima with the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, after which she earned an M.A. in Hospital Administration from Columbia University and came to work at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1953. She filled many roles during her time teaching and administrating in the Hospital, as well as the School of Nursing. Most notably, it was Cavagnaro who led the charge to desegregate the Hospital and its affiliate institutions, about which she wrote a book in 1992 titled "A History of Segregation and Desegregation at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions." In this oral history, Cavagnaro describes the challenges of being a female in the male-dominated medical milieu of the 1950s, the Johns Hopkins Hospital and how it has changed over time, and the racial politics of the Hospital.