BORN on January 14, 1875 in Alsace, then part of Germany, the young boy was baptized: Ludwig Philipp Albert Schweitzer. The family name indicates that they originally came from Switzerland a.k.a. Die Schweitz.
He came from a long line of ordained Lutheran ministers. As expected the young Albert studied philosophy, then theology at the University of Strasbourg. His desire to become a missionary led him to study medicine after ordination as a Lutheran minister. To support his many years of studies, Albert Schweitzer a gifted musician since childhood, organized and performed at organ concerts.
Falling in love with Helen Breslau, a Jewish girl he met at a wedding, Schweitzer finally married her, after years of engagement, and made her a partner in his missionary work.
Armed theological knowledge and skill as a doctor of medicine, Albert Schweitzer went as a missionary to Lambarene (now known as Republic of Gabon), in Africa. There he built a hospital for a land plagued by dreaded tropical diseases, notably leprosy and sleeping sickness.
On Sundays, he would serve as preacher-minister to his congregation.
Despite heavy schedule as a doctor and ordained minister, Albert Schweitzer undertook research on the “historical Jesus,” where he obtained praises from theologians.
His philosophy is summed up in the words: respect for all forms of life and end to nuclear weapons.
In 1957, Albert Schweitzer obtained the Nobel Prize, and with it came the amount of $33,000, which he used to expand his hospital in Africa to accommodate as many as 500 patients at a time.
All through their years together, Albert Schweitzer never cited the role his wife played in his work and achievements, thereby eliciting the remark from the writer Mary Kingsley, [Mrs. Schweitzer] is "one form of human being whose praise has never adequately been sung, namely, the missionary's wife."
Paradoxically, the famed missionary-doctor’s wife died of tuberculosis.