The inventor of insulin had many passions beyond diabetes care. November 14th is World Diabetes Day. This date was chosen because it’s the birthday of Dr. Frederick Banting, the man credited with the discovery of insulin therapy. Many in the Type 1 diabetes community know the outline of Dr. Banting’s biography. Here are eight lesser-known facts about his life: 


1. Dr. Banting had a personal friend, only 14 years old, who had passed away from diabetes. This helped fuel his motivation to conduct diabetes research

2. Dr. Banting had a passion for painting, and even joined the Group of Seven Artists on a sketching trip to Quebec and was planning to paint full-time in his retirement

3. Dr. Banting often quarrelled with colleagues, and is said to have once given a co-worker a black eye

4. Dr. Banting was born just outside of Alliston, Ontario. His former home - called The Banting Homestead Heritage Park - is now open to school and community groups

5. Originally Dr. Banting set out to study divinity at the University of Toronto, but then changed his field of study to medicine

6. In 1923, Dr. Banting and his advisor at the University of Toronto, Dr. J.J.R. Mcleod, received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Banting shared the award money with Dr. Best, his colleague

7. He was knighted by King George V

8. Many know that he died while serving in World War II – fewer know that this was his second war. He also was wounded in action in World War I