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Richard Carmona: 1949—: U.S. Surgeon General Biography

Early Career Full Of Intensity, Questioned About Past

Richard Carmona: 1949—: U.S. Surgeon General.




In April of 2002, President George W. Bush nominated Dr. Richard Carmona for the position of U.S. Surgeon General. Before the U.S. Senate confirmed him, the nation learned that their "Top Doc" had a resume that read like the remarkable biography of an action hero. The high school dropout from a poor, Puerto Rican family, Carmona served in the Army, worked as a surgeon and professor, and as a part-time sheriff's deputy. Bush thought that Carmona's experience in emergency management, bioterrorism, and law enforcement suited him perfectly for the role of U.S. Surgeon General after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Born Richard Henry Carmona on November 22, 1949, Carmona was raised in New York City's Spanish Harlem neighborhood. His Puerto Rican family was poor, and, like many of his friends, Carmona dropped out of high school. Many of Carmona's childhood friends went on to pursue lives of crime but, at age 17, Carmona chose to avoid that destiny and joined the U.S. Army. He also earned his high school equivalency diploma, or G.E.D.

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