Immigrated from Ireland
at age 15
Worked as a cook for rich
Healthy carrier of the
Typhoid fever outbreaks began to happen in families
she worked for
George Soper investigated particular case and
concluded that Mary was the source of the disease
After Mallon refused to voluntarily submit to testing
for typhoid, she was taken into custody by the health
After determining that she is a healthy carrier, Mary
was sent to North Brother Island
After 2 years at North
Brother Island, Mary
made an attempt to
regain her freedom
After habeas corpus
hearing but she is still
not “cleared” from her
One year later, she was
given her freedom on the
condition that she never
cook for the public again
Mallon is released from North Brother Island and
begins employment as a laundry worker
Mary assumes an alias of Mrs. Brown, and resumes
After an outbreak occurs at a maternity hospital, Soper
carries out investigation and discovers that “Mrs.
Brown” is the cause
She is taken back to the island and lives in solitude for
23 years, until she dies of a stroke
Conflicting opinions on
how Mary’s case should
have been handled
Public Safety vs.
What do YOU think?
Society still facing the same questions today
Public health policy in other parts of the world
When does the safety of the public outweigh the rights
Leavitt, J. W. Typhoid Mary: Captive to the
Public’s Health. Beacon Press, 1996
Rosenberg, J. Typhoid Mary. About.com.
Bovson, M. Mary Mallon, forever known as
Typhoid Mary, carried the deadly disease and
spread it to others. New York Daily News.
Leavitt, J. W. Typhoid Mary: Villain or Victim?
NOVA. Retrieved from:
Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public's
Health, Judith Walzer Leavitt. Primary Sources.