... 1869, Mary Mallon was born in Ireland. She immigrated to the United States at around age 15, and soon became a cook for wealthy families in Massachusetts and New York. In the early 1900s she was determined to be an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever, and was believed to have spread the disease to dozens of people for whom she worked. Dubbed "Typhoid Mary," "the most dangerous woman in America," Mallon was quarantined by health officials; that's her in the 1st hospital bed at left. In a letter pleading for release, she wrote:
I have been in fact a peep show for everybody. Even the interns had to come to see me and ask about the facts already known to the whole wide world. The tuberculosis men would say 'There she is, the kidnapped woman.' Dr. Park has had me illustrated in Chicago. I wonder how the said Dr. William H. Park would like to be insulted and put in the Journal and call him or his wife Typhoid William Park.
Questions persist about the fairness of her treatment and the degree to which class or ethnic prejudice motivated officials in her case.