William C. Banton, II Oral History


William C. Banton



Interview Date


Biographical History

William C. Banton, II was born in 1922 in Washington, D.C. He earned his medical degree from Howard University in 1946 and then interned at Homer G. Phillips Hospital. He received a Master’s Degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public health in 1970. He served in the U.S. Air Force in World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War. In 1973 he was promoted to Brigadier General. He retired from the reserves in 1979.

Banton served as Health Commissioner for the City of St. Louis from 1970-1972. He then designed the St. Louis County Department of Community Health and Medical Care and served as its first director from 1973-1979. He successfully advocated for the creation of the Missouri Department of Health and in 1985 was appointed as a medical consultant to the agency.

Banton also taught on the faculties of both Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis University School of Medicine. In 1987 he was elected president of the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society, the first African-American to hold the position in the society’s 150-year-long history.


Access to this oral history transcript is restricted. Contact the archivists at Becker Library arb@wusm.wustl.edu for terms of access.


Washington University Publications


Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives


Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri



Link to Published Version

Published Version