Rudolf Weigl Biography, Net Worth, Wiki, Wife, Death, Achievement & Life Story

Rudolf Weigl Biography, Net Worth, Wiki, Wife, Death, Achievement & Life Story . Rudolf Stefan Jan Weigl was a Polish biologist, physician and inventor. Known for creating the first effective vaccine against epidemic typhus. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine each year between 1930 and 1934, and from 1936 to 1939. Weigl worked during the Holocaust to save the lives of countless Jews by developing the vaccine for typhus. And providing shelter to protect those suffering under the Nazis in occupied Poland. For his contributions, he was named a Righteous Among the Nations in 2003.

Rudolf Weigl Early Life

Her parents were Australian German when she was young, her father died in a bicycle accident. His mother, Elizabeth Croesell, later married a high school teacher. Weigel was a local German speaker who later moved to Poland and learned their language and culture. He is a qualified person who has graduated from Lwow University. Weigl grew up in Jassio, Poland. Although he was a native German speaker, he adopted the Polish language and culture when the family moved to Poland. 

Rudolf Weigl Career

After the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Weigl was drafted into the medical service of the Austro-Hungarian army and began research on typhus and its causes. Weigl worked at a military hospital in Przemyśl. Where he supervised the Laboratory for the Study of Spotted Typhus from 1918 to 1920. In 1919, he became a member of a military sanitary council in the Polish army. As he began researching and experimenting, he discovered and developed a vaccine.

After the invasion of Poland by Germany in 1939, Weigl continued his research and work at an institution in Lwów. There, he was able to increase the production of his typhus vaccine. He spent the next four years in Lwów focusing his research on developing a vaccine for spotted fever. He led and directed the Institute for Typhus and Virus Research based in Lwów. Weigl created a vaccine for spotted fever; the vaccine did not provide full immunity against the disease, but it substantially reduced the symptoms.


Rudolf Weigl



2 September 1883

Prerau, Austria-Hungary

Died 11 August 1957 (aged 73)

Zakopane, Poland

Resting place Rakowicki Cemetery, Kraków, Poland
Nationality Polish
Known for Inventor of vaccine against epidemic typhus
Awards Righteous Among the Nations (2003)
Scientific career
Fields Biology
  • University of Lwów
  • Jagiellonian University of Kraków
  • University of Poznań

Rudolf Weigl Vaccine development

In 1930, following Charles Nicolle’s 1909 discovery that lice were the vector of epidemic typhus. And following the work done on a vaccine for the closely related Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Weigl took the next step and developed a technique to produce a typhus vaccine by growing infected lice and crushing them into a vaccine paste. He discovered that a vaccine could be developed from lice stomachs infected with Rickettsia prowazeki. The causative agent of typhus in humans. Weigl refined this technique over the years until 1933 when he performed large-scale testing to cultivate bacteria and experiment with the lice using a micro-infection strategy. The method comprised four major steps:

  1. Growing healthy lice, for about 12 days;
  2. Injecting them with typhus;
  3. Growing them more, for 5 additional days;
  4. Extracting the lice’s midguts and grinding them into a paste (which was the vaccine).

Rudolf Weigl Later years, death, and legacy

Following the border changes in the aftermath of the war, Weigl moved to Kraków in southern Poland. He was appointed chair of the General Microbiology Institute at the Jagiellonian University. And later chair of biology in the medical faculty at the University of Poznań. He retired in 1951, but production of his vaccine continued for several years.

Weigl died on 11 August 1957 in the Polish mountain resort of Zakopane at age 73. He was buried at the historic Rakowicki Cemetery in Kraków. For Weigl’s research and work with typhus at Lwów University, Weigl’s Institute was created in the typhus research department. The institute features prominently in Andrzej Żuławski’s 1971 film, The Third Part of the Night.

Rudolf Weigl Awards and honors

Weigl was continuously nominated for a Nobel Prize in the years 1930–1934 and 1936–1939. Despite these nominations, he never received a Nobel Prize for his vaccine accomplishments or social work. A half-century after his death, Weigl’s research, work, and service were recognized by many. In 2003, he was honored as Righteous Among the Nations. This award was given by Israel and commemorated his work for saving countless Jewish lives during World War II. On 2 September 2022, Google commemorated Weigl’s 138th birthday with a Google Doodle.


Rudolf Weigl Death & 138th Anniversary

Rudolf died in Jakopane, Poland on 1 August 1957 at the age of 73. After his death, countless people paid homage to him, for his contribution he will always be missed. Now, on September 2, 2022, Google is celebrating its 18th birthday with a doodle. As it invested in the first vaccine against the epidemic typhus.

Rudolf Weigl Net Worth

Rudolph did not disclose the value of his assets before his death, although he was supposed to have good money. The main source of his income is his profession. The exact amount of his total wealth is not available. There is no other source from which he used to earn. In his life, he has achieved a lot, he has been honored with the righteous among the nations and has been nominated for the Nobel Prize twice.

Last Word

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