In one in all her earliest and most influential essays, “Coaching for Uncertainty” (1957), Professor Fox took up a topic that she would revisit all through her profession, the concept that the extra subtle medication turned, the extra questions it raised.
“‘Uncertainty’ — if there’s one thing to be chiseled on my tombstone, that will be it,” she told the Penn Arts & Sciences Alumni E-newsletter in 2002.
Renée Claire Fox was born on Feb. 15, 1928, in Manhattan. Her father, Fred, based P.F. Fox & Co. Funding Securities, and her mom, Henrietta (Gold) Fox, inspired her academic progress, though she herself had solely a primary-school schooling.
Through the summer season after her freshman 12 months at Smith School, she started feeling unwell, and her physician identified her signs as polio. She by no means forgot the date: Aug. 15, 1945, in any other case generally known as V-J Day, when Japan surrendered, ending World Conflict II.
“From my mattress in our condominium,” she wrote, “by means of the open home windows, I may hear the jubilant crowds on the street.”
Polio is very contagious, and discovering a hospital that will settle for her took some doing. She was taken to Sydenham Hospital in Harlem, which served principally Black sufferers. Her polio was extreme, affecting her swallowing and respiratory, which she may barely do by the point she was hospitalized.
In her memoir, Professor Fox paid tribute to a Black nurse who bought her by means of the primary evening. “I have no idea her title,” she wrote. “However I do know that I survived that evening as a result of she put her head beside mine on the pillow the place I lay, and breathed each breath with me.”