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American Lung Association

American Lung Association
Abbreviation Lung Association
Motto "It's a matter of life and breath." (previous)
"Fighting For Air" (current)
Formation 1904 (as National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis)
Type Non-profit
Headquarters Washington, D.C., United States
Membership 32,000
National President and Chief Executive Officer Harold P. Wimmer
Remarks Names:
-National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis (1904 (founding)–1918)
-National Tuberculosis Association (1918–1968)
-National Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association (1968–1973)
-American Lung Association (since 1973)

The American Lung Association is a voluntary health organization whose mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.[1]


  • History 1
  • Logo 2
  • Funding 3
  • Notable participants 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The organization was founded in 1904 to fight tuberculosis as the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis by Edward Livingston Trudeau, Dr. Robert Hall Babcock, Dr. Henry Martyn Hall, Dr. Lawrence Flick, and Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf. Earlier in 1892 Flick had founded the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis, the world's first society dedicated to the prevention of TB. NASPT was Renamed the National Tuberculosis Association (NTA) in 1918, and then the National Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association (NTRDA) in 1968, it adopted its current name in 1973. Taglines included, "It's a matter of life and breath," "When you can't breathe, nothing else matters" and currently, "Fighting for Air"

In 1907, the Lung Association began their Christmas Seal campaign to raise money for a small TB sanatorium in Delaware. Emily Bissell, a Red Cross volunteer at the time, created holiday seals to sell at the post office for a penny a piece. By the end of her fundraising campaign, she had raised more than ten times the amount needed to save the sanatorium and the tradition of Christmas Seals was born[2]

The Association is a defender of the Clean Air Act and "Fighting for Healthy Air".

A modified version of the Cross of Lorraine serves as the Lung Association's logo. The Paris, France, physician Dr. Gilbert Sersiron suggested its use in 1902 as a symbol for the "crusade" against tuberculosis. The double barred cross was originally used in the coat of arms of Godfrey of Bouillon, Duke of Lower Lorraine, a leader of the first crusade and elected ruler of Jerusalem after its capture in 1099.[3][4]


The American Lung Association is a public health organization funded by contributions from individual donors, corporations, foundations and government agency grants. Detailed financial statements are available in their Annual Report which is made public online every year. One of its best-known fund-raising campaigns is its Christmas Seals program, which has been an annual fundraising and public awareness tool for tuberculosis and lung disease since 1907.

Notable participants

The National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis held their ninth annual meeting in Washington D.C., May 8 and 9, 1913. In attendance were Association President Homer Folks, Honorary Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, Vice Presidents Dr. Robert Hall Babcock, Sir William Osler and Dr. Edward R. Baldwin, Treasurer William H. Baldwin, Secretary Dr. Henry Barton Jacobs. Notable life members included Andrew Carnegie, Henry C. Frick, Mrs. H. Knickerbocker, Louis Marshall, Francis E. May, Cyrus H. McCormick, Henry Phipps, John D. Rockefeller, Rodman Wanamaker, Felix M. Warburg. The association members recommended a public health committee be formed by The National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis and be officially sanctioned by the United States House of Representatives. In addition, they adopted the double red cross emblem formally as the symbol for the association and its fight against tuberculosis. The National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis executive offices were located at 105 East 22nd Street, New York, New York.[5]

Dr. Henry Martyn Hall of Pittsburgh, PA is one of the ten original founders and was honored at the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting of the National Tuberculosis Association at Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1954.[6]

U.S. President Grover Cleveland was an honorary vice president from 1905 to 1908; U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was an honorary vice president from 1905 to 1919.[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "History of Christmas Seals". American Lung Association Christmas Seal Website. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011. 
  3. ^  
  4. ^ "History of the Double-Barred Cross". Alberta Lung Association. Archived from the original on September 27, 2006. Retrieved November 18, 2006. 
  5. ^ Press of WM. F. Fell Company, Philadelphia, PA. 1913.
  6. ^ Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph. May 16, 1954.
  7. ^ A History of the National Tuberculosis Association, Sigard Adolphus Knopf, April 1, 1922.

External links

  • American Lung Association
  • "The American Lung Association Crusade." Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia
  • American Lung Association State of the Air 2013
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