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Dr. Leonardo Oliva

Leonardo Oliva de Álzaga was born in Ahualulco de Mercado in 1814.

Before he turned 15, he enrolled at the Conciliar Seminary of Guadalajara, but he finally opted for chemistry and pharmacology at the Medicine Faculty of the National University of Guadalajara.

Oliva completed his internship at the San Miguel de Belén Royal Hospital. At 24, he got his degree as a medicine professor and taught such subjects as chemistry, botany, pathology, and anatomy.

He lived shortly in Autlán de la Grana, a municipality in southern Jalisco. Once he came back to Guadalajara, he spent his time teaching at the university, doing pharmacological research, and practicing medicine at Belén Hospital.

Now known as Fray Antonio Alcalde old public hospital, which has been in service since it opened in 1794.

Dr. Leonardo Oliva divulged his knowledge in a book called History of Medicine in Mexico, which was submitted to the National Academy of Medicine in Paris and was published in 1857.

Due to his conservative values, he lost his academic position during the Reform War. He had to return to the south of Jalisco, losing his scientific career and leading him to a life full of misery and poverty.

He died in Guadalajara at the age of 58. He was buried at the Panteón de Belén, the oldest cemetery in the city; which is home to incredible legends and offers public tours.

In 1873, a year after his death, scientific and literary societies in the city, paid homage to him. His oil-portrait as well as bronze sculptures can be seen at Jalisco's Public Library, the National Natural History Museum, and the National High school Library in Mexico City.

Continue enjoying our historic center and learning about the legacy of Leonardo Oliva and the Honorable Citizens of Jalisco.