Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey, (24 September 1898 – 21 February 1968) was an Australian pharmacologist and pathologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Sir Ernst Chain and Sir Alexander Fleming for his role in the development of penicillin.
Although Fleming received most of the credit for the discovery of penicillin, it was Florey who carried out the first ever clinical trials in 1941 of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford on the first patient, a constable from Oxford.
The patient started to recover but subsequently died because Florey was unable, at that time, to make enough penicillin.
It was Florey and Chain who actually made a useful and effective drug out of penicillin, after the task had been abandoned as too difficult.
Florey's discoveries, along with the discoveries of Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain, are estimated to have saved over 200 million lives, and he is consequently regarded by the Australian scientific and medical community as one of its greatest figures.
Sir Robert Menzies, Australia's longest-serving Prime Minister, said, "In terms of world well-being, Florey was the most important man ever born in Australia".