David Graham Hall, physician, real estate investor, and philanthropist, was born on June 25, 1858, at Auburn, New Hampshire. He received his primary and secondary education at the Boston Latin School and then attended Harvard College. After graduating from Harvard in 1879, he studied medicine in Germany and France. He returned to the United States and established a practice at Great Falls, New Hampshire. Because of his arthritis he decided to move to a warmer climate and selected Dallas, Texas, as his new home. He arrived there with his mother in 1888 and opened a medical practice.
Hall used an experimental typhoid vaccine that, though effective, temporarily turned the skin of the user blue. This side effect, combined with an apparently widespread distrust of Hall by Dallas residents, resulted in threats against his life in the event that his medicine failed. He made a comparatively modest living but gradually became a recluse. Through frugality he accumulated sizable savings, which he invested in rental housing for black residents. These investments, coupled with Hall's almost fanatic frugality, enabled him to build a fortune of some $300,000. He used this money to endow the David Graham Hall Foundation, which sought to eradicate venereal disease. The foundation's lobbying efforts contributed to the passage of state laws requiring compulsory blood testing of both parties to marriages and of pregnant women. Hall died at his home in Dallas on June 28, 1949.