After a distinguished military career as one of the first female doctors to serve in WWII, Clara Raven went on to do pioneering research on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Raven earned her MD from Northwestern University in 1938 and spent the following year as an international research fellow at the University of Liverpool in England. When women doctors were finally allowed to serve in the US military in 1943, Raven was one of the first four women to enlist. She served in Europe during WWII and in Asia during the Korean War, studying hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever epidemics that plagued servicemen in both wars, and eventually rose to become chief of laboratory services of general hospitals for the American military. She attended the Nuremberg Trials and served on the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in Hiroshima. She also co-authored a Japanese textbook on histopathology. In 1961 Raven became the first female doctor to reach the rank of full colonel in the Army Medical Corps. In 1958 she became Deputy Chief Medical Examiner of Wayne County, where she spent 20 years researching SIDS. She testified before a US Senate subcommittee in the early 1970s on the need for both funding for SIDS research and counseling services for the bereaved.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Clara Raven." (Viewed on June 17, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/raven-clara>.