Annette LeMeitour-Kaplun, founder of the International Journal of Health Education, studied psychology, sociology and ethics at the University of Rennes in France. Active in the French Resistance movement and a second lieutenant in the French Army Women’s Corps, she served as French liaison officer to the U.S. Army in Paris. She was also co-founder and director of the Paris-American Christmas Fund.
For many years, LeMeitour-Kaplun was associated with the League of Red Cross Societies and the World Health Organization. In 1947, the United States recognized her work by awarding her its Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. She also received the Chevalier’s Badge from the Legion of Honor in recognition of her humanitarian work in France and Switzerland.
In 1958, LeMeitour-Kaplun launched the International Journal of Health Education, which was published in English, French and Spanish. She was also editor of three other bilingual periodicals. As secretary-general of the International Union of Health Education, she convened the first privately sponsored health-education conference, held in Philadelphia in 1962. The conference, which included representatives from 70 countries, was the first such conference in history not sponsored, organized or financed by a government. A year later, she organized the International Study Center for leaders of Young National Societies, with representatives in Asia, Africa and the Pacific.
Late in her life, LeMeitour-Kaplun was president of Hearth- Handicap, an organization dedicated to raising the quality of life for the handicapped. The organization honored her in 2002. LeMeitour-Kaplun continues her humanitarian work through Hearth-Handicap.