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Our Inspiration - Tom Dooley

Dr. Thomas Anthony Dooley (1927-1961)

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in the heart of America. Early studies were made in St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1953. for his internship he rejoined the navy and was assigned to the Navy Hospital at Camp Pendleton, California. In May, 1954 he was assigned as a Medical Officer aboard the U.S.S. Montague and worked in the evacuation of Haiphong. There he witnessed the suffering of more than 600,000 refugees from North to South Vietnam. Shocked by the inadequate medical care in the small country of Laos, he decided to return there after his release from the Navy to set up small clinics and hospitals. With the aid of doctors, nurses, medical assistants and other interested persons he was able to alleviate the sufferings of countless people in Southeast Asia.

Stricken with malignant melanoma he continued to carry on his medical mission of mercy almost to his death on January 18, 1961 in New York City.

Men and women of all faiths have followed his dedicated example to humanity by offering their services in various areas of spiritual and material needs.

The heroic and virtuous example of this young doctor, his services to mankind, and more especially acceptance of suffering, sickness and death have served as a great inspiration to many.


Listen to the agony of mankind
I who am fed, who never yet went hungry for a day,
I see the dead, the children starved for lack of bread.
I see and try to pray.

Listen to the agony of mankind
I who am warm, who never yet have lacked a sheltering home,
In dull alarm, the dispossessed of hut and farm
Aimless and transient roam.

Listen to the agony of mankind
I who am strong, with health and love and laughter in my soul,
I see a throng of stunted children reared in wrong
And wish to make them whole.
Listen to the agony of mankind
And know full well that not until I share their bitter cry,
Their pain and hell, can God within my spirit dwell
And bring America's blessing nigh.


-Dr. Tom Dooley


Books by Dr. Tom Dooley

  • Deliver Us From Evil
  • The Edge of Tomorrow
  • The Night they Burned the Mountain

Books About Dr. Tom Dooley

  • Before I Sleep by James Monohan
  • Sincerely Tom Dooley by Lucille Selsor
  • Promises to Keep by Agnes W. Dooley (Tom's mother)
  • Give Joy to My Youth by Teresa Gallagher