The polio vaccine was successfully tested against the virus by Dr. Jonas Salk on March 26, 1953. He tested the vaccine on himself, his family and former polio patients before announcing to the world his findings. He developed his first early attempt at the vaccine against in 1950.
In 1954, approximately two million children received the first trials of the vaccine, and in 1955, the vaccine went global. Within two years of the global release, the vaccine reduced polio cases to under 6,000. Born in New York City in 1914, Salk won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 for his efforts.