Epidemiologist and accomplished writer of medical fiction
John S. Marr graduated from New York Medical College in 1967 and later earned an M.P.H. degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He attended Yale University as an undergraduate. After graduating from NYMC, Dr. Marr served at the U.S. Army’s Academy of Health Sciences in San Antonio, Texas, where he taught troops preparing to deploy to the Vietnam War about tropical diseases.
Dr. Marr also served as the New York City’s principal epidemiologist where he investigated a number of infectious disease outbreaks, including Legionnaires' disease, typhoid fever, botulism amebiasis and was director of the city’s swine flu response in 1976. He later served as the State Epidemiologist of Virginia. He authored or co-authored more than 55 peer-reviewed journal articles, and co-authored A Century in the Life of the Control of Communicable Disease Manual: 1917 to 2017.
Dr. Marr also wrote several books of fiction. In 1998, Marr published The Eleventh Plague with co-author John Baldwin, a medical thriller described by Kirkus Reviews as “gripping” and “creepy.” He has also written many magazine articles, book reviews, and essays on public health issues. Among them are Alexander the Great and West Nile Virus Encephalitis, Was the Huey Cocolitzli a Hemorrhagic Fever?, Marching to Disaster: The Catastrophic Convergence of Inca Imperial Policy, Sandflies, and El Niňo in the 1524 Andean Epidemic, A New Hypothesis on the Cause of the 1616-19 Epidemic among the Amerindians of New England, The 1802 Yellow Fever Epidemic in Haiti, Yellow Fever Misadventure of 1942, Yellow Fever, Asia and the East African Slave Trade, and The Elephant War Epidemic in Mecca, 570 A.D. He continues to publish articles on historical epidemics and obscure historical infectious disease outbreaks.