Guttmacher, Alan F. (Alan Frank), 1898-1974Alternative names
Alan Frank Guttmacher, (1898-1974), was President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1962 to 1974. His research focused on women's reproductive health issues including family planning, birth control, legalized abortion, sterility, fertility, multiple birth pregnancies, and global overpopulation. Guttmacher was an obstetrician, gynecologist, and family planning advocate in Baltimore, Md. before becoming Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City in 1952. Guttmacher was Medical Director of the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau in New York and Chairman of the Planned Parenthood Medical Committee before assuming the presidency of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1962.
From the description of Papers, 1860s, 1898-1974. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 83770614
Alan F. Guttmacher (1898-1974) was President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) from 1962 to 1974. During his tenure, Guttmacher counseled women on reproductive health matters and was an advocate for family planning and women's reproductive rights. Guttmacher was an obstetrician, gynecologist, and family planning advocate in Baltimore, MD before relocating to New York City in 1952 to The Mount Sinai Hospital, and later to the PPFA.
Alan Frank Guttmacher was born on 19 May 1898 in Baltimore, Maryland. He received an A.B. from Johns Hopkins University 1919, and an M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1923. Guttmacher completed his internship in obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore in 1924, and finished his residency at Johns Hopkins Unviersity in 1928. He spent one year, 1927-1928, of his residency at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City as a junior, and later Chief resident.
Guttmacher held several academic appointments at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine between 1926 to 1952, culminating in his appointment as Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. While practicing obstetrics and gynecology in Baltimore from 1929 to 1952, Guttmacher served as Chief of Obstetrics at the Sinai Hospital in Baltimore from 1943 to 1952. He was appointed Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1952, and was simultaneously appointed the first combined Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Guttmacher held this position at The Mount Sinai Hospital until 1962. He was later named Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Guttmacher was named visiting professor of maternal health at Harvard Medical School in 1961, and later also served as visiting professor at the Albert Einstein Medical School.
While practicing at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, Guttmacher served as director of the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau (MSRB), a facility that worked closely with the PPFA and focused on the service, research, training in the control of human reproduction, from 1959 to 1962. Guttmacher left Mount Sinai in 1962, when he was named President of the PPFA. He served as President of the PPFA until his death in 1974.
Guttmacher first became involved in the family planning movement in Baltimore, when as an intern, he watched a woman die from a failed abortion. He subsequently became an active member and advocate for women's reproductive rights at the Baltimore PPFA affiliate; he later became nationally involved in the organization when he moved to New York in 1952. Guttmacher served as the volunteer chairman of Planned Parenthood's National Medical Committee before assuming the PPFA presidency in 1962.
As President, Guttmacher spearheaded PPFA's transition to a social advocate for the problems of poverty in the United States. In the early 1960s, the PPFA merged with an existing national program, World Population Emergency Campaign, to provide voluntary family planning services to low-income communities who needed and wanted them, and to highlight the inadequacies of health care for the poor. By 1968, the organization assisted the government in the creation of public policy and programs. Guttmacher also worked closely with the leadership of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) throughout the 1960s to advocate for family planning programs in Asia, Latin America, and Africa in an effort to curb global overpopulation. Guttmacher and his colleagues traveled to these areas to lecture to physicians and medical professionals, assist local family planning agencies, and to meet with citizens and government officials to discuss the advantages of family planning services. Guttmacher also continued to counsel individual women about family planning, providing abortion provider referrals and information, via correspondence and in-office consultation while President of PPFA.
Aside from Guttmacher's responsibilities at PPFA, he remained involved in other professional organizations including the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the New York Obstetrical Society. Guttmacher published several books and articles and lectured on topics such as abortion, family planning, fertility, global overpopulation, pregnancy and delivery, and teenage sex throughout his career. In 1961 he published The Complete Book of Birth Control, the first paperback book solely focusing on birth control. He traveled internationally lecturing to family planning groups, physicians, and college students on the importance of legalized abortion, birth control, and sexual responsibility.
Alan F. Guttmacher died of leukemia on 18 March 1974. He was 75 years old.
From the guide to the Papers, 1860s, 1898-1974., (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Sterilization (Birth control)|
|Family Planning Policy|
|Abortion--Law and legislation|
|Communication in family planning|
|Family Planning Services|
|Birth control clinics|