William Augustus Hinton was born 1883 in Chicago. He was the youngest student to ever graduate from Kansas City High School. After high school, he studied at the University of Kansas, completing the three-year premed program in two years. Hinton continued undergraduate studies at Harvard, receiving a bachelor’s degree there in 1905. In 1909, he was offered a scholarship and finished the Harvard medical program in three years.

William Augustus Hinton was the first Black professor at Harvard Medical School and the first African American to publish an academic textbook. As a bacteriologist, pathologist and educator, he was a pioneer in the field of public health and earned an international reputation as a medical researcher with his work on the detection and treatment of syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases. Hinton developed a test for syphilis, which, because of its accuracy was used by the United States Public Health Service.