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Amaury de Medeiros

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Death Date:


Teacher, Political, Doctor



Amaury de Medeiros

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 26/05/2022

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation - Specialist in Scientific Documentation

The sanitary physician Amaury de Medeiros was born in Recife, on December 7, 1893, in a house located in the neighborhood of Parnamirim, son of Professor Bianor de Medeiros and Maria Cândida Góes Loreto de Medeiros, from the family of the Appellate Judge Góes Cavalcanti.


Amaury de Medeiros was a student of the Pernambuco Gymnasium in the secondary course and graduated in Medicine from the School of Rio de Janeiro, being the speaker of his class.


In 1917, he headed the clinical services of the Brazilian Red Cross and was professor of the Nursing Course of the institution. A year later, he was elected Secretary-General of the entity and appointed to the position of director of the Brazilian Red Cross hospital, when he was responsible for facing the Spanish flu epidemic that devastated the country.


In 1919, at the age of 26, he was chosen by President Epitácio Pessoa to represent Brazil at the Red Cross Congress in Geneva, Switzerland. He also represented the country in the Pan American Congress of Hygiene, at the time of Arthur Bernardes term.


From 1922 to 1926, during the government of Sérgio Loreto (of whom he was son-in-law), he was appointed to the position of director of the Department of Health and Assistance of Pernambuco (DAS).


His work at the head of the DSA revolutionized medicine and hygiene in the state. He reformed the medical care system in Recife and in the inland municipalities; he remodeled the Hospital Oswaldo Cruz and the Hospital of Nervous and Mental Diseases (Hospital da Tamarineira); he created the Inspectorate and the Body of Health Visitors; he was one of the pioneers in the solutions to the mocambos problem of Recife, organizing the Casa Operária Foundation, which built the villages of Arraial, Torre, and Afogados. He was one of the first to deal with the prenuptial examination and the prevention of venereal diseases, creating venerological care units; he created the Tuberculosis Prophylaxis Inspectorate, attached to the Rural Sanitation Service; fought malaria, yellow fever, smallpox, and bubonic plague with prophylactic measures, among other diseases. He even managed to ensure that from 1924 to 1925 no case of bubonic plague was recorded in Recife.


After his administration in public health in Pernambuco, Amaury de Medeiros was elected federal deputy, transferring definitively to Rio de Janeiro in early 1927. As a parliamentarian, he presented a project creating the Ministry of Health and Assistance.


He wrote, among others, the books: Um grito de alarma (A cry of alarm), Cruzada sanitária (Sanitary Crusade), and Atos de fé (Acts of faith). Before his departure from the Department of Health and Assistance of Pernambuco, he also published a volume of almost 600 pages, entitled Saúde e Assistência (Health and Care), on the achievements of his administration in the body.


He died on December 3, 1928, on the eve of turning 36 years, victim of an accident in Rio de Janeiro, when, on board a plane, he would pay homage to Santos Dumont, throwing flowers on the deck of the ship Cap Arcona, who brought the “Father of Aviation” back to Brazil. A friend of yours, Colonel Taumaturgo de Farias, with a bad feeling, advised him not to embark. The advice was not heeded and Amaury de Medeiros lost his life when the plane split in half and crashed.


Recife, July 24, 2003.


sources consulted

OLIVEIRA, Valdemar de. No tempo de Amaury. [Recife]: Cepe, 1975.

SILVA, Jorge Fernandes da. Vidas que não morrem. Recife: Governo de Pernambuco, Secretaria de Educação, Departamento de Cultura, 1982. p. 49-51.

how to quote this text

GASPAR, Lúci. Amaury de Medeiros. In: PESQUISA Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2003. Available from: Access on: mês dia ano. (Ex.: Aug. 6, 2020).