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John Paul Golden, M.D.

Illustration of John Paul Golden, M.D.

1863 - 1920

His father, Samuel, worked at the Monongahela House for more than 50 years as a porter, doorman and watchman. From humble beginnings, John Paul Golden, M.D. rose to heights of academic and professional distinction. In March 1888, Golden became the first African American to graduate with a medical degree from Western Pennsylvania Medical College, forerunner of University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Portrait of Samuel Henrey Golden, father of John Paul Golden, M.D. and newspaper listing of John Paul Golden's gratuation announcement from Western Pennsylvania Medical Collete in 1888

Establishing himself on James Street, Allegheny City (now North Side), he built up a large practice, with many of his patients being German immigrants in the neighborhood. Fluent in seven languages, Dr. Golden sat on the board of directors of Avery Industrial College and was a member of Central Baptist Church, the Four Hundred Club, and the Afro-American Republican League. He was a founding member and officer of the National Medical Association, a professional organization for African American physicians. His wife, Frances "Fannie" Burgin, was a charter member of the Aurora Reading Club.

In 1897, Dr. Golden and his wife moved to Georgetown, South Carolina, where Dr. Golden practiced medicine for more than a decade. He and his wife returned to Pittsburgh in 1913.

While Dr. Golden and his wife had no surviving children, his extended family has many descendants still in Pittsburgh. Several Golden family members have distinguished themselves in the medical field.

John Paul Golden's brother, Robert C. Golden (1856-1910), was also a Dollar Bank depositor. Robert C. Golden married Sophia Woodson, granddaughter of Lewis and Caroline Woodson. Their son, Samuel Henry Golden II (1892-1972), served as president of the Western Pennsylvania Research and Historical Society and was a member of the Pittsburgh Historical and Landmarks Foundation board of directors. Samuel Henry Golden III (1920-2016) taught high-school science and was a practicing pharmacist for many years until his retirement in 1980. Samuel Golden IV (1955-2004) received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and became a specialist in research, education and treatment of AIDS/HIV.

Account signature of John Paul Golden, M.D.