Howard Florey was born in Adelaide, Australia on the 24th September 1898 and died aged 69 in Oxford, England on the 21st February 1968. During his lifetime, he achieved what most men never thought possible. He became a pharmacologist and pathologist in Australia and while working alongside Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain, discovered Penicillin. To mark this man's historic success, the Royal Australian Mint struck this
To give him his full title, Sir Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey of Adelaide OM FRS FRCP. Although this is impressive, he was much more than just a title. Sir Robert Menzies described him as the most important man ever born in Australia. Although penicillin was first discovered by Alexander Fleming back in 1928, it was Ernst Chain and Howard Florey that purified it for general use. For this achievement, the three of them shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 (History Learning Site, 2014). The consequence of the introduction of penicillin during World War II is immeasurable as before the discovery, it had been difficult to treat wounded and diseased soldiers in combat zones. The list of honours bestowed upon Howard Florey is quite extensive. There are lecture halls, prizes and awards, 50 dollar bills, hospital wards and even a town named after him in the Australian Capital Territory. He was knighted in 1944 and was also made a life peer just 3 years before he died. This honour would put his standing above that of Sir Alexander Fleming and shows recognition for the millions of lives he had saved through his work.