Patricia L. Jakobi

SHARP, WILLIAM BARNARD (1889–1961). William Barnard Sharp, bacteriologist, was born in Crafton, Tennessee, on October 19, 1889, one of five children of Robert and Mary (Taylor) Sharp. He attended Nashville public schools and Wallace's University School, a preparatory school for boys. Sharp received a B.A. from the University of the South (1910), an M.D. from Rush Medical College in Chicago (1914), and an M.A. (1914) and Ph.D. (1922) from the University of Chicago. After an internship at Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago, he did medical work with the Rockefeller Foundation in Shanghai, China, from 1916 to 1918. He then served with the United States Army Medical Corps at Camp Pike, Arkansas, for a year and with the Respiratory Commission of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company for two years. In 1921 he joined the faculty at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was chairman of the Department of Microbiology until 1957. He continued as professor on a limited-service basis until his death. For some years he also served as supervising bacteriologist for the Galveston city health department. Sharp focused on immunology, preventive medicine, tropical medicine, and fungi. He was the author of many research articles and several books, including Foundation of Health: A Manual of Personal Hygiene for Students (1924, 1927, and 1930), Medical Biology (1933), and Practical Microbiology and Public Health (1938). His professional memberships included the American Medical Association, the Texas Medical Association, the Society of American Bacteriologists, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the American Public Health Association, the Texas Public Health Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Sharp married Alice Percy of Anaconda, Montana, in 1916. They had two daughters. Mrs. Sharp preceded her husband in death, as did their daughter Gloria, who died in 1951. While en route to visit his other daughter, Dorothy Carter, whose husband was in the diplomatic corps in Paraguay, Sharp accidentally fell from a docked ship in Ilo, Moquegua, Peru, and died on March 24, 1961.

Galveston Daily News, March 28, 1961. Texas State Journal of Medicine, July 1961. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston: A Seventy-five Year History (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Patricia L. Jakobi, "SHARP, WILLIAM BARNARD," accessed July 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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