In Memoriam: Donald Anderson, First Poster Child, 1940-2014

White Plains, New York | Monday, March 3, 2014

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Donald Eugene Anderson, born October 1, 1940, the first child to be pictured on a March of Dimes publicity poster in 1946, giving rise to the popular phrase “poster child,” died at age 73 on February 27, 2014. Mr. Anderson contracted polio in 1943 and was five years old and a resident of Prineville, Oregon, at the time he became the poster child to symbolize the March of Dimes fight against polio. His iconic March of Dimes poster showed two images – the first of him standing in his hospital bed with neck brace and arm splint, and the second after various therapies, striding briskly along, unsupported and radiating confidence. He grew up to work for the U.S. Postal Service for 25 years.

Joe DiMaggio and Donald Anderson

Donald Anderson also posed with great New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio for a photo in Central Park, New York City, in 1946.

About March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs.

For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites and To participate in our annual signature fundraising event, visit If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.