Medicine: Peddler's Will

Everybody on Chicago's South Side—and in U.S. medicine—knows what Michael Reese is: a first-rate hospital center that treats countless charity cases as well as paying patients.

But if anybody in the neighborhood is asked about Michael Reese, whose name is carved in bold stone above the main entrance, he has a hard time answering. "A German immigrant who made his fortune in California real estate," is the accepted version. The cynical have more colorful addenda. Reese (ne Ries) was a peddler who went to California in the wake of the Forty-Niners and, some say, made...

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