Professor Charles H. Hennekens: An Enthusiastic Supporter of Champions
As one of the world’s most accomplished clinicians, teachers and medical researchers, Professor Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.PH., has been credited by ScienceWatch.com with avoiding more than 1.1 million premature deaths. The website ranks him No. 81 in the history of the world, ahead of such luminaries as Jonas Salk and Henry Heimlich. He has made groundbreaking discoveries about the treatment and prevention of heart disease through therapeutic lifestyle changes and adjunctive drug therapies, including statins, aspirins, converting enzyme inhibitors and blockers, and beta blockers.
Professor Hennekens was born in Brooklyn, NY, to working class, uneducated but loving and nurturing parents. The family later moved to Queens, NY, where his mission in life came into tragic focus at age 17, when his father, a lifelong smoker, died suddenly from a heart attack. A gifted athlete and student, Professor Hennekens attended the Wharton School of Business for one year and later graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Queens College. Today he is the only graduate in the college’s 80-year history to have been inducted into both the achievement and athletic halls of fame. He earned a medical degree from Cornell University, completing a residency in internal medicine. For two years, he was a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service, assigned to the Centers for Disease Control as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer. Upon discharge, he relocated to Boston where he lived for 30 years, earning a doctorate in epidemiology from Harvard University and rising to become the university’s First Eugene Braunwald Professor of Medicine.
In 2004 Professor Hennekens joined the faculty of FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, later transitioning to the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, where he serves as the First Sir Richard Doll Professor and Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean. Professor Doll was a mentor, colleague and friend who greatly inspired Professor Hennekens when he said “death is inevitable but premature death is not.”
On his involvement with Champions, Professor Hennekens says, “I wholeheartedly support the enrichment, empowerment and advancement of college students emerging from foster care or homelessness, which makes my experiences seem like a cakewalk.”
Professor Hennekens has helped improve the lives of our Student Champions through a generous donation. If you would like to join him in supporting Champions, please click on the Champions Empowering Champions account at the Florida Atlantic University Foundation: https://fauf.fau.edu/empoweringchampions/