Lazear, Jesse (William)(1866–1900) physician; born in Baltimore, Md. After graduating from Columbia's medical school and working at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, he gained a reputation for his work in bacteriological research. An outbreak of yellow fever in Cuba led to his being appointed an assistant surgeon in the U.S. Army and assigned to a Yellow Fever Commission with Walter Reed, James Carroll and Aristides Agramonte. Sent to Cuba early in 1900, they investigated and soon proved that the disease was transmitted by the bite of a mosquito; however, Lazear was bitten accidentally by an infected mosquito and died, while Carroll, who had allowed himself to be bitten as part of the experiment, survived.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.