Fred L. Soper is known as the champion of the concept of eradication. He is the spiritual father of the eradication of smallpox and the nearly successful program against yaws. His career and his memory are an inspiration to all of us who dare to dream the big dream. Two persons who surely have dreamed the big dream are Ruth and Victor Nussenzweig, the corecipients of our Society's 1985 Soper Lectureship which is sponsored by the Gorgas Memorial Institute and was established in the memory of Fred Soper shortly after his death.
Ruth Sonntag Nussenzweig's family emigrated from Vienna, Austria, in 1939 to São Paulo, Brazil. She entered the School of Medicine of the University of São Paulo in 1947. In her class was a student, Victor Nussenzweig. Victor and Ruth became friends and in 1951 published their first collaborative research paper and in 1954 became husband and wife.