All Library of Congress Pages  
U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona presented a keynote address titled "Honoring Our Present and Leading Our Future"
Event Date: September 17, 2003

U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona opened the Library’s 2003 National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration with a keynote address on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at Library of Congress. The theme of this year’s celebration was " Honoring Our Present and Leading Our Future."

Dr. Carmona was sworn in as the 17th surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service on Aug. 5, 2002. Born and raised in New York City. Carmona dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967. While serving in the Army, he received his Army General Equivalency Diploma and joined the Army’s Special Forces, becoming a combat-decorated Vietnam veteran and advancing to the level of vice admiral.

After leaving active duty, Carmona earned his associate of arts degree from the Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. He graduated from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), with a bachelor’s degree in 1977 and a medical degree in 1979; he was the medical school’s top graduate that year. He completed a surgical residency at UCSF and a National Institutes of Health-sponsored fellowship in trauma, burns and critical care. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is certified in correctional health care and quality assurance. In 1998 he earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of Arizona, where he has taught surgery, public health, and family and community medicine. For more information about the Library’s Luso-Hispanic holdings, visit the Library’s Hispanic Reading Room in person or online at

The Library of Congress Contact Us