June 14 was declared World Blood Donor Day in honor of Nobel Laureate Dr. Karl Landsteiner, born on June 14, 1868 in Vienna. Dr. Landsteiner developed a modern system for classifying blood groups according to the recognition of the presence of agglutinins in the blood, and in 1930 he received the Nobel Prize for his work. Alexander S. Wiener and Landsteiner identified the Rh factor in 1937. Karl Landsteiner received the Lasker Prize posthumously in 1946.
Karl Landsteiner was born in Baden near Vienna. His father was Leopold Landsteiner, a journalist and newspaper editor, and a doctor of law. His mother was Fanny Hess. His father passed away when Karl was only six years old. He graduated in medicine in 1891 from the University of Vienna. Dr. Landsteiner was also well versed in chemistry (taught by Hermann Emil Fischer).
He collaborated with the famous Croatian ophthalmologist Alberto Botteri, with whom he published a scientific paper in 1906. In 1908 he became professor of pathology at the University of Vienna. 1916 He married Helen Wlasto, and had one son with her. After the outbreak of World War I he fled to the Netherlands. 1922 he joined the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York, where he remained for the rest of his life and after retirement (1939). He became a U.S. citizen. On June 26, 1943, Karl Landsteiner died of a heart attack in New York while working in his laboratory.
If you are healthy, please donate blood whenever you can (women every 4 months, men every 3 months) because that is how we save human lives.
Thank you on behalf of all of us — voluntary blood donors.