Antonia Novello was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico in 1944 and moved to Michigan in 1970.
Novello was the first Hispanic and the first woman to serve as surgeon general of the United States. She was named to the post by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, and served until 1993.
Novello earned her M. D. degree at the University of Puerto Rico in 1970. She then moved to the University of Michigan to complete her internship and residency, and then received a fellowship from the Georgetown University School of Medicine.
During her tenure as surgeon general, Novello focused on health issues affecting children, women and minorities. She also challenged the tobacco industry over marketing tactics which appealed to children, most notably the "Joe Camel" cartoon character.
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