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Hatem, George (1910-1988)



  • Existence: 1910 - 1988

Parallel Names

  • Hai-teh, Ma
  • Ma, Haide


Dr. George Hatem (dates) was an American physician who devoted his medical career to eradicating venereal diseases and leprocy in China. He is widely credited with ridding China of most syphilis and gonorrhea, and had hoped to eliminate leprosy from the country by the year 2000. In mainland China, he was known as Dr. Ma Hai-teh or Ma Haide, meaning "virtue from overseas."

Shafick George Hatem was the son of Lebanese immigrants who grew up in Buffalo, New York. He received his medical degree from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. In 1933, he and two other doctors went to Shanghai to study tropical diseases. Hatem stayed in China the rest of his life.

Shortly after arriving in China, Hatem became friends with international journalist Edgar Snow. Mao Tse-tung requested a "Western-trained doctor and an honest journalist" after he became head of the Communist Party. Snow and Hatem crossed Nationalist army lines to meet with Chou En-lai, then Mao. Hatem returned to Shanghai when the Red Army took over China in 1949.

Information located here:

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Dr. Dillard M. Eubank Papers

Identifier: KC-19-44
Scope and Contents

This collection was donated by Dr. Dillard M. Eubank's widow, Anna Louise Eubank. Dr. Eubank was a physician in China, 1944-1945, and the communist military capital of Yenan in 1945. He was born in China.

Eubank's papers include photographs, correspondence, and a 1945 reminiscence written of his time in Yenan.

Dates: 1944-1945, 1972-1990

George Hatem / Ma Haide Correspondence to Pauline S. Fergusson

Identifier: KC-19-42
Scope and Contents Ma Haide (George Hatem) wrote to Pauline and George Fergusson as a follow up to meeting them at the Edgar Snow Symposium in 1983. The letter describes Ma Haide attending the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference and the National Peoples Congress, which focused on public health, shortly after returning from the symposium. He thanks Pauline for telling him about her working with the Chinese nurses when they visited in the United States and for taking an interest in Chinese...
Dates: 1983 July 6

George Hatem / Ma Haide Papers

Identifier: KC-19-28
Scope and Contents This material includes a film script for "Travels to the West: Edgar Snow and Ma Haide (George Hatem)" that was translated from Chinese to English. The material also contains public speaking addresses by or about Hatem, flyers for fundraising and foundations, and correspondence and articles about Hatem and the leprosy program in China. Hatem was a public health official in China who is credited with helping eliminate leprosy and other venereal diseases in post-war China, for which he...
Dates: 1935-1990