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The Fultz Sisters: The Fascinating and Tragic Story of America’s First Identical Black Quadruplets

• Sep 18, 2015
Fultz Quads meeting JFK

The Fultz Quads meeting President John F. Kennedy on the White House lawn in 1962. (JFK Library)

The Fultz sisters were born on May 23, 1946 and became the first identical African‐American quadruplets on record.  They were instant celebrities upon entering the world and endured the highs and lows of publicity.

Born into the public eye

Fultz on Ebony

The survival of quadruplets into their first birthday was a rarity and created a national sensation. (EBONY)

Mr. and Mrs. Fultz were poor with six children when they gave birth to the identical quadruplets in the segregated wing of a North Carolina hospital.  Almost simultaneously, the cameras and endorsements came knocking because of the rarity of this high order multiple birth.  Of the interested companies, Pet Evaporated Milk offered to pay all medical bills associated with the birth, hire an in‐home nurse to care for the girls, and give the family their own farming land and house.  The hired nurse, Elma Saylor, shares what the offer meant to the struggling family.

[Mr. Fultz] had never made more than $500 a year in his whole life. So when Pet came around with that offer, Mr. Fultz and the others thought they’d had a blessing from heaven.  You’ve got to remember that all that was more than 20 years ago in the rural South, and anything that white people did for you in those days was kind of unusual.  And to think that after all those years, the Fultz family would have a 150‐acre farm and their own house just given to them by a big company way off in St. Louis. Why, everyone down there thought that was just marvelous.”- EBONY, “The Fultz Quads” by Charles L. Sanders, Nov. 1968

Doctor Fred Klenner, who delivered the Fultz Quads, actually negogiated the deal with Pet turning down two other milk companies, Borden and Carnation.  He seemed to take charge of the girls lives in the beginning, having experimentally put Mrs. Fultz on high dosages of vitamin C in the latter part of her pregnancy and then naming the quadruplets upon birth.  (The girls became Klenner’s “vitamin C babies”.)

The doctor took it upon himself to name the girls — all of them Mary, followed by the names of the women in the Klenner family. There was Ann, for the doctor’s wife; Louise, his daughter; Alice, his aunt; and Catherine, his great‐aunt.

To the delivery nurse, who is black, it didn’t seem strange.

At that time, you know, it was before integration,” Margaret Ware, 79, recalled recently. “They did us how they wanted. And these were very poor people. He was a sharecropper, Pete [Mr. Fultz] was, and she [Mrs. Fultz] couldn’t read or write. — News & Record, “And then there was one” by Lorraine Ahearn, Aug. 2002”

Fultz baby

Dr. Fred Klenner holding one of the Fultz quadruplets.   (EBONY)

In addition to naming the sisters, Klenner set up visitations at the Fultz home for curious strangers who wanted to see the quadruplets.  The girls were put on display in a glass‐enclosed nursery.

Dr. Fred Klenner stated that visitors would be welcome at the home between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each afternoon, and that the quads could be viewed through a glass screen. — News & Record

And so it began …

World Famous Fultz

One of their many Pet Milk advertisements.

Publicity and disappointment

The end of the Second World War had brought intense economic growth.  The Fultz Quads subsequently became “national icons of the post‐war baby craze and of the birth of the black urban consumer,” appearing in countless Pet Milk advertisements into their teenage years.  (Pet Milk sold more cans in 1950 — four years into the sisters’ lives — than it had sold in its 65‐year history.  The company attributes that feat to “the post‐war prosperity and baby boom”, but one has to wonder what portion of that success is actually due to the Fultz Quads and five other quadruplets appearing as the faces for Pet Milk.)

Fultz Pet 3

As the Fultz Quads grew into young women, they continued to appear in the public eye. In November 1959, at age thirteen, they performed as a string quartet in the annual Orange Blossom Festival in Miami, Florida. For their 16th birthday, they were featured in a Pet Milk ad for an autographed picture of the girls.  That same year, they met President John F. Kennedy at the capital where twelve years before they had also met President Harry S. Truman during his walk. These are just some of the many appearances the Fultz Quads made.

Fultz on TV

From the Fultz Quads memory book.

Fultz 1962

Autographed picture appears in Pet Milk advertisement for their 16th birthday.

Many African Americans saw the Fultz Quads as the black version of the Dionne Quintuplets, reaping the monetary benefits of fame. However, behind closed doors, the sisters were not as compensated and financially secure as many thought. Unlike the white Dionne Quintuplets, who received $1 million in a trust fund at age seven, the girls were paid scraps. (The Dionne Quintuplets also have a sad story worth reading.) Elma Saylor, the nurse who was hired to care for them in their home, and her husband, Charles Saylor, had adopted the quadruplets in 1956 and knew the truth of their lives.

They had always been [poor]. For no matter what the public thought, the highly publicized Pet Milk advertising contracts had brought in just enough money – $350 a month – to keep the Fultz Quads off North Carolina’s welfare rolls …

[Saylor then shares] “Out of that $350 came my salary …

Somebody ought to just take a trip down to North Carolina and inspect that great farm that was played up so much in the newspaper stories.  It’s in the middle of nowhere, and the land’s so poor that you can’t even get timber to grow on it anymore.  Then the place has always been so hilly that you couldn’t raise good crops on it …

There was also a lot of publicity about the family’s ‘very own house’ on the farm.  Let’s set the record straight: it was an old four‐room place in which 13 to 14 people, including myself as the babies’ nurse, had to live.  Pet Milk put in a faucet and electricity and a gas hot plate for cooking, and they closed in the front porch so that I’d have a place to sleep.  That was, I guess you’d call it, the ‘nurse’s quarters’ — my room, out there on the porch …

I’m not saying that Pet didn’t do everything it promised to do; I’m saying that they could have done more.” — EBONY

Aside from this truth, there was the reality that the sisters had difficulty adjusting to normal lives. After two years of college, the Fultz Quads were forced to withdraw.  When EBONY Magazine interviewed them in 1968, the sisters were in Peekskill, New York living in a small two‐bedroom apartment with their adopted parents and working at a factory making men’s raincoats for low wages.  Though the girls were not exactly suffering, they were certainly not doing much better than the average African American at that time.

Breast cancer and death

Mary Catherine Fultz-Griffin

Mary Catherine Fultz‐Griffin looks at a picture of she and her sisters at Annie Penn Hospital, their birthplace. (News & Record)

Later in life, the Fultz Quads went back to school ultimately graduating from Barbizon in 1985.  At least one of the sisters went on to marry, and that is all we really know about their lives until 2002.  The last journalist update on them sadly informed readers that three of the sisters had developed breast cancer and died.

The last one born, the unexpected one, she [Catherine] was now the only survivor. First, Louise had died of breast cancer at age 45, then Ann, from the identical cause at age 50. Finally, Alice had lost the same battle, at 55, her body about to leave Annie Penn in a funeral‐home ambulance — the same way the over‐taxed hospital transported the four babies home to their parents’ tobacco farm in 1946. — News & Record

It has been said that Catherine also developed breast cancer but then went into remission.  No other news has been found about the Fultz Quads since then.

 

SOURCES:
EBONY, “The Fultz Quads” by Charles L. Sanders, Nov. 1968.
News & Record, “And then there was one” by Lorraine Ahearn, Aug. 2002.

Have you heard about the Fultz Quads?

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Elle P.
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Elle P.

I read about this a while back and while the history was incredible, it beared tragic results. It kind of reminds of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a story of medical breakthroughs, racism, and opportunism…

Kendall Renee
Guest
Kendall Renee

Just finished reading that book, incredible!

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

Yes, and their family haven’t received a PENNY for everything she gave and gives to science.

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

You cannot sell body parts. And I don’t know why they should get anything. Not EVERYTHING boils down to “how much will you pay me.”

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

Thank you for your opinion. However clearly much human activity does yet revolve exclusively around the ideals cultivated by capitalism, and far be it for you to determine other peoples sense of financial priority. As for selling body parts(your own) that is a relatively recent decision that had to go all the way to a supreme court.

StraightShooter
Guest
StraightShooter

What a sad story. I feel terrible for them.

Mrs0507
Guest
Mrs0507

America is really disgusting towards African‐Americans.

K_
Guest
K_

what a fascinating story ive never heard of theem before

tracena barnwell
Guest
tracena barnwell

This story is just sad

LBell
Guest
LBell

I consider myself decently educated when it comes to African‐American history and yet this is the first time I’ve ever heard of these women. What a sad ending for them. I hope the surviving quadruplet is well.

Cicely
Guest
Cicely

That’s an incredible story. I knew all about the Dionne quintuplets because of the TV movie they made about them, but I had never heard of the Fultz’s until now. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Sharee Staten
Guest
Sharee Staten

What so incredible about the story, when they were NOT taken care of in their earlier years? Other peple reaped the benifits of their popularity. It’s a sad story.

Dee
Guest
Dee

This story is truly sad. 🙁

Djphoenix
Guest
Djphoenix

Imagine if they’d been dark skinned with kinky hair. They did not get rich and the company did not do what they were supposed to. Shame on PET milk company; it was business/PR for them. The girls did better than they would had done if they were not supported though, having been born to two illiterate Black sharecroppers. No shade. Many poor children died during that era because they did not have money for adequate health care — Black and White. How many had a private nurse and medical costs covered? How many people can say that they traveled to… Read more »

clever_moniker
Guest

This was such an good article and reminds me of a post I read on Jezebel entitled “I Don’t Know What To Do With Good White People.” The doctor who managed a very high risk pregnancy and delivered the babies helped himself to naming them, erasing their own history and taking away parental autonomy. In exchange for a live‐in nurse, he set visiting hours. A home of their own on a farm was a sardine can on dead land. There was nothing about the so‐called charity paid to them that came without strings. There was no gesture that didn’t reveal… Read more »

Dr. G- M.-S.
Guest
Dr. G- M.-S.

My grandparents were there. Dr. Richard V. Moore and Mrs. BJ Moore.

https://www.facebook.com/MooreInnerBeauty
comment image?oh=e0389582cbb63d0d34592bd9379b657a&oe=5661EA97

SUPNAT
Guest
SUPNAT

COOL!!!!

Claudette UK
Guest
Claudette UK

The exploitation of these women and the treatment of them and their parents breaks my heart.

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

PETITION to have PET MILK Compensate this family. Please SHARE, POST, TWEET and SIGN.

https://www.change.org/p/j-m-smucker-compan-pet-milk-pet-milk-compensate-the-fultz-quads-families

Amy Peterson
Guest
Amy Peterson

Yes. They should have accepted the scraps and eaten bullshit nicely with a knife and fork. How much did other companies pay their spokespeople? The girls should have earned that much x 4 as there were 4 of them. Why couldn’t a food company like PET have hired a farm consultant to come help the parents make sense of the land they were given, whether they could grow some tobacco on parts of it or whether they could develop it, lease it, or whatever. When was it okay to put a family with 10 children and a hired nurse into… Read more »

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

Thats right on, sister! Exactly! This company’s agents surely knew what they were doing, and their “benefactor” Doctor Keensly or whatever his name was also knew that either he screwed up in negotiations or was also ripping them off in the process the article says HE turned down two other offers from the now prosperous companies that were supposedly not as good, that suggests he might have been a shrewed enough business man to recognize the deal was shady. Clearly he was in on it likely getting a better deal for himself in return allowing them to get the raw… Read more »

Amy Peterson
Guest
Amy Peterson

Also, who the heck is Patti Label? If you mean Patti Labelle, according to Wikipedia, “In 1982, her eldest sister Vivian Rogers died of lung cancer at 42. In 1984, she lost her second‐eldest sister, Barbara Purifoy, to colon cancer at 41. A year later, she lost her mother, Bertha, to diabetes.[25] In 1989, she lost her father Henry to emphysema brought on by complications of Alzheimer’s disease and her youngest sister, Jacqueline “Jackie” Padgett, to lung cancer. Jackie was only 43 when she died.”

mud duck
Guest
mud duck

but a more industrious family

Mimi Miles
Guest
Mimi Miles

A non‐ black person just told me to get over slavery and the stuff that was done to African‐Americans. It took everything in me not to give them a history lesson. You could do it and they’re still oblivious. Too much has been done. We can only begin to heal when we have a real conversation. Most won’t even accept that they were wrong.

fbear0143
Guest
fbear0143

As an old white man, some of whose ancestors were slaveholders, I can certainly understand why an apology is needed. I had nothing to do with slavery and was, fortunately, born to parents whose thoughts were far more enlightened than those of all too many southerners. My life has been enriched by the diversity of friends I have with peope of all races, each one contributing something to my life that I can only hope to return to others. I now live outside the USA in a Latin country, where there are also many of African descent. Ever, they seem… Read more »

Annabella G
Guest
Annabella G

Not all African Americans were slaves. By that same token, many people from various ethnic backgrounds were slaves. The apology should come in the form of educating people in our true history and not just telling people a one‐sided view full of inaccuracies and self‐righteousness. I am glad you appreciate people of all color, but this is most likely due to additional circumstances and influences that are may not be available to others. As long as people are kept in the dark about our history, and led to believe the crap being taught in schools without educating themselves further, race… Read more »

Linda Barker
Guest
Linda Barker

You know we all have heard of the “lazy black man”, but I’m wondering who was really lazy. Majority of the south were backwards lazy incompetent white eople. They either didn’t know how to do things or didn’t want to. I’m just stating an opinion, of course northern Caucasians were lazy as well, but not to the point where they were willing to fight go death to keep their workforce or slaves. Much respect to you for bravely saying your family were slaveholders, but WE NOW MUST SET A NEW EXPECTATION BETWEEN PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF RACE, COLOUR RICH OR POOR.

linda
Guest
linda

Mini, the next time a non‐black person tell you to get over slavery tell them you will when they get over the holocaust. It’s a part of our history that should and will not be forgotten. So, whomever the person is that you had this conversation with needs to except it.

sharongibson
Guest
sharongibson

You’re assuming that the “non‐black” person is Jewish or some other who have suffered during the Holocaust, which really isn’t fair. But you might like to know there are others who not only tell people to “get over slavery,” they maintain that the Holocaust didn’t happen in the first place.

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

I was about to say the same thing. Would you tell a Jewish person to “get over” the Holocaust? And their suffering was for less than 10 years while ours was over a hundred.

Ellima
Guest
Ellima

We were taught about the jewish holocaust in history, but never the slave holocaust here in the United States. They did not want us to know the truth, so they could hide their bloody, murderous, depraved past, and we could go on thinking all white folks were “good”, and blacks were “bad”. That is why they want you to forget.

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

When Europeans agree to reparations for people of African descent only then might we be able get over slavery.

Guest
Guest
Guest

“A non‐ black person just told me to get over slavery and the stuff that was done to African-Americans.”–You should have told them to get over the fact that you won’t. I’ve done this many times and shut the ignorance down. “You could do it and they’re still oblivious.”–There’s absolutely no need to do that. What we need to do, is stop wasting our time trying to be reasonable with the unreasonable. I wish more and more of us would finally wake up from this mental slavery. Stop caring about the fact that they do not care. To me, that… Read more »

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

There were some people who were wrong, but they are all dead. You cannot have a conversation with them. But neither of us personally suffered from slavery, or the Holocaust or Stalin or Black Death or polio or D‐Day or the Dustbowl or female circumcision or the Irish Famine. Any level of discomfort that we have from these things is because we volunteer for it. ——- Sometimes this sadness and discomfort sits on top of your head and crushes you. Sometimes you put it in a box in front of you, and you trip over it every few minutes. I… Read more »

Allison
Guest
Allison

Peekskill, NY

twinn
Guest
twinn

What surprises me is the fact that we as black people act surprised as if we were going to be treated fairly,It has gotten better but black people have always been exploited .Yes we are getting high salaries for our exploits but some one else is making even much bigger salaries on our backs as usual..

Shalove2
Guest
Shalove2

They were used and they graduated from beauty school in 1985 and 39 years old, that was not a difficult accomplishment. Being treated like animals at the zoo is not a terrific life. What is I take your children, put them in a glass cage and put them on view 2 hours a day. Meeting famous white people is no consolation.

TMW
Guest
TMW

so sad…

Gennaphyr
Guest
Gennaphyr

This breaks my heart. The article doesn’t say why they were adopted out or how old they were at the time.

It-Takes A-Village Jamaica
Guest
It-Takes A-Village Jamaica

They were born in 1946 and were adopted in 1956, so it stands to reason that they were 10.

rachel s
Guest

ugghh such a sad story!!

Byron Jackson
Guest
Byron Jackson

They were Trailblazers of theirs time.

GROSSSS
Guest
GROSSSS

Trailblazers of what? To who? For what? Bye, troll.

The Darling Kinkshamer
Guest
The Darling Kinkshamer

True, although they were only pictured as babies(baby hair) and straightened hair as they grew up, I think that they had kinky hair.

Truthsayer
Guest
Truthsayer

What I do not get is that people of color read these stories and still hate on each other. People of color must get more savvy. Ask for you want and demand it. That is why I do not get mad at these football players who make millions.

Chel
Guest
Chel

What are you talking about?

FineNaturalHairandFaith
Guest

fascinating story yet sad.

TeaJae
Guest
TeaJae

Oh that hurt to read this. I’ve never heard of them before this article. Why were they adopted? Did the birth parents die or something? What an awful doctor I mean really name them after your relatives and the visit hours…ugh. Tragic story

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

I vaguely remember the story. But why the heck were they adopted??? They had parents.

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

Maybe that is why they were “treated horrifically”. They were basically thrown away by their parents.

Guest
Guest
Guest

Lol! You white trolls are hilarious. It’s amazing the lengths you’ll go through to deny the truth. Simply hilarious!!!!!

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

So true. They were probably forced to give them up for adoption as well. I bet the Doctor made millions off of them.

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

Did you know that PET did not allow the mother to breastfeed and they were forced PET milk instead? All 4 contracted breast cancer and all but 1 is dead.

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

PETITION to have PET MILK Compensate this family. Please SHARE, POST, TWEET and SIGN.

https://www.change.org/p/j-m-smucker-compan-pet-milk-pet-milk-compensate-the-fultz-quads-families

Britney
Guest
Britney

I wonder if the Doctor, Fred Klenner is the father of the “Fultz” quads. Just my thoughts, but he took full control of those girls including naming them after HIS family members. He negotiated contracts with companies, I would think he got his share of money too from this. The parents were poor and vulnerable, the prime candidates for an experiment. Ijs…something to think about.

ebaiden
Guest
ebaiden

wow! i never thought of it that way, the possibility of him being a father. :mindblow:
Its straight up disgusting what he did.
I’m actually freaking out that he had allowed visitors, strangers at that, with their stupid curiosity to come and see the girls, as if they were in some kind of petting zoo, or heck, a slave auction display. Ugh!!! That pissed me off the most.

KIMBERLY
Guest
KIMBERLY

I wouldn’t be surprised! That Doctor was an opportunist! I want to know what the parents’ look like because you have a good point!

Future
Guest
Future

In case you were wondering what their father looked like. Here’s an album I found on flickr about them and there’s a picture of their dad in it. Here’s the link.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncccha/albums/72157594499501870

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

Good share!

Future
Guest
Future

Here are more links if you want to learn more about them.

https://goo.gl/j9wlPV

or

https://goo.gl/iJWa9l

Linda Barker
Guest
Linda Barker

Exactly, , Brittney. I was thinking the same exact thing. And anther thing these beautiful brown babies all suffered and died at a young age. Now we know PET commercialized them, just me thinking. You think drinking PET had something to do with the fact they all either died or experience cancer?? Do you think Mrs. Fultz breast fed the babies, or simply ‘under Pet” instructions to only give the babies it’s milk? Sometimes that voice inside you says ( if its too good to be true.….) Something went wrong , but Are we surprised. Bitter‐Sweet Article and legacy.

KIMBERLY
Guest
KIMBERLY

That’s what I was thinking! This to me is not a coincidence that they all had Breast Cancer. I was thinking the Vitamin C shots, as well while they were in the womb.

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

They probably all had the same disease because they had the same genetics.

Melinda
Guest
Melinda

A lot of people do not understand that certain cancers DO run in families. Angelina Jolie‐Pitt is an example of it happening.

Likewaterforchoc
Guest
Likewaterforchoc

Thank you for your white woman logic and giving us “the education”. You can take your trolling somewhere else now.

Terrance J
Guest
Terrance J

Or … “Miss Susan” The probably have the same disease because they were expose to the same chemical.

Likewaterforchoc
Guest
Likewaterforchoc

People would like to place the blame solely on genetics when as recent as a few years ago, there were reports of illness caused by actual baby formula. I wonder if SusanSusanSusan works for PET.

Clotee
Guest
Clotee

Clotee I don’t understand what the tragedy is from the story. The sisters didn’t get the money that they would have gotten if they were white‐a tragedy of the times. But they did get a better life than they would have had if they lived on the income of their mother. The sad part is they died young, but did they live a tragic life or even die a tragic death; I say no, admittedly, they died too young. But it seems to me they lived life maybe not exciting and they lived in closed quarters‐so what, but I don’t… Read more »

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

They got almost the same treatment as the white Dionne quints. Everybody grabbed all they could. The Quint Business got everything, the quints got nothing, the doctor made his career and the family was pushed aside.

Guest
Guest
Guest

Hence why, BGLH stated that their story TOO was tragic.

Guest
Guest
Guest

they got nowhere near the same treatment especially not the million dollar trust fund that the other white quadruplets received.

Clotee
Guest
Clotee

I don’t understand what the tragedy is from the story. The sisters didn’t get the money that they would have gotten if they were white‐a tragedy of the times. But they did get a better life than they would have had if they lived on the income of their mother. The sad part is they died young, but did they live a tragic life or even die a tragic death; I say no, admittedly, they died too young. But it seems to me they lived life maybe not exciting and they lived in closed quarters‐so what, but I don’t see… Read more »

ebaiden
Guest
ebaiden

maybe the fact that they were treated no better than lab animals has something to do with the tragedy of this story., Also their mum was not allowed to breast feed them, and were left to look like slaves at an auction, and made to look like some type of freak of nature when in fact where blessings. I don’t know, that to me sounds inhumane, and no disrespect, but you sound like one of them old timers that have disappointed our generation, and wants us to be grateful for the little crumbs we get even though our ancestors where… Read more »

Clotee
Guest
Clotee

Ebaiden, We have choices; the parents could have easily walked away. And yes I was raised during a difficult time, but never made excuses and, certainly, I will not blame anyone for my lot in life. My trust and faith in God has brought me long way. This generation is a disappointment unto itself. Look at history more than “african americans” have suffered, actually practically all races at one time or another, But Arican Americans must learn to stop mourning and grumbling over the past and move on. All this does is nurture hate and bittereness! Those sisters were in… Read more »

LIDuck
Guest
LIDuck

Do you know of any community in the United States, then or now, who raises one needy child, or offers to even babysit for a single parent? You hear of communities occasionally pitching in to raise multiple birth siblings, but even then, when the excitement wears off, they stop. I agree with you, it takes a village. And where is and was the village? Perhaps the fault does not lie in the white doctor, but in the black community.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

We don’t really know what would have happened if their people hadn’t gone along in with the deal. BUt we do know this: NO amount of bounty or reward justifies the appropriation of these children and the way which they and their family was exploited. Based on the article its clear that hey didn’t even get the real promised compensations that they were lured in with for selling their children or themselves into being displayed like a freak show. Now please let me disclaim, I’m not saying that they were portrayed in any way that is unbecoming and all of… Read more »

Chel
Guest
Chel

The mistreatment of black people by European‐Americans. What else is new? We know white people have an on‐going history of screwing black people over. Disgusting.

Lori
Guest
Lori

Might not be tragic, but sad enough that these beautiful young women and their families were robbed and taken advantage of, all for the sake of advertising “Pet Milk” . They were exploited and I say this because 1 they are “African American Quads” (very rare in the 40’s) and 2 because they had parents not intelligent enough to know or understand that their children’s faces were making this company millions while they were settling for next to nothing and a broke down farm. Also in this day and age it would be considered inhumane for some one (especially if… Read more »

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

I don’t go to zoos because I hate the way wild animals are put on display and taken from their native land. And how were African’s treated? Slaves taken from their native land, put on display and forced to work. Hummmm

Ellima
Guest
Ellima

This was wholehearted exploitation and abuse of these precious babies and their parents, all for the profit margin of the white man. It’s a little like they put nice clothes on the house slaves and fed them well, but they were still slaves.

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

They left out the first holocaust committed by Germans against the people of Namibia. This is where Germany built their first concentration camps and went on to slaughter approximately half of the African people native to that region. I remember there was some kind of apology by the German government but as far as seeking to repair the damage that had been done, nothing. They can move on from what ever ills were committed against them(but not forget) because they have been compensated allowing them to rebuild their communities. They won’t even give us an apology.

chigozie@yahoo.com
Guest
chigozie@yahoo.com

This was news to me, I just read about it, totally shocking 🙁

Pat68
Guest
Pat68

That doctor disgusts me.

devans00
Guest

Yes. It’s obvious he was planning to exploit the girls and cheat the family before they were born. The arrogance of naming the children after his family like they were a litter of puppies.

Makes me so angry.

coonbegone
Guest
coonbegone

And why are you defending the person who made the offensive comment? Lost blacks are so irritating…

sharongibson
Guest
sharongibson

I am not defending anyone. I merely said that the assumption being made was the person making such a statement is Jewish.

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

Even non Jews promote the learning of the Holocaust, it’s part of the schooling all over the world. You do realise that Jews played a big part in Slavery right?

sharongibson
Guest
sharongibson

Reall? How big a part? (My take on the TransAtlantic slave trade was a great number of Christians and Muslims were part of this human trafficking). So, other than Lois Farrakan, what source–a credible one, mind you–indicates that Jews as a whole had a hand in the slave trade?

MamaChitChatChitterling
Guest
MamaChitChatChitterling

Did PET milk cause the breast cancer?

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

Coincidence?

Kiki
Guest

I think not…

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

no

Elizabeth L
Guest
Elizabeth L

Doubtful. Breast cancer has a strong generic component and, hello!, they were quintuplets.

Miss B.e
Guest
Miss B.e

Probably!

VoiceofReason
Guest
VoiceofReason

I think your 21st century world view is misplaced because you are not viewing this story in the time it occurred. When you are uneducated and poor, you only think to survive the day. This family had a total of 10 children. To them this opportunity from PET milk was similar to Nirvana to them. They were also from the south, which I’m sure back in the throes of segregation that my current modern self cannot fully comprehend the social, political and economical oppression blacks faced. Yes, they were taking advantage of, yes the doctor should have been more thoughtful… Read more »

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

Excellent analogy.

Clotee
Guest
Clotee

I am viewing this story from the perspective of the 60’s. I grew up in the 60’s in Mississippi and knew my great grandmother and great grandfathere who were born a slave, lived in a house with 12 people, sisters, brothers, cousins, grandmother/grandfather. Life was hard in the Mississippi Delta. I saw families torn apart, children given to sisters, brothers, or friends that couldn’t aford to raise them, and in some cases never to see them again. My point is we all have obstacles and some more than others. But at that time, those girls were aforded opportunities most did… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Guest

” But why do you blame the doctors?”–No one here is doing as you say “blame the doctors”, just simply acknowledging the fact that he named all 4 girls after his own family. As minor as this may seem to you, the rest of us see this as an indicator of how deep the social/economic powers at hand operated. You seem to be under the impression, that because some good came out of this (Dr. facilitating the deal, PET endorsement, Farm) thefefore we should ignore all the bad. And because some blacks made it during that time, we should forget… Read more »

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

I’M blaming the doctors. The times do not justify anything. At best this was desensitization, or social accommodation of a disgusting racially disparaged culture. I’m not going to pretend this guy was so morally bankrupt because of his society that he didn’t know what he was doing and or the way he was doing it was was wrong. NO thats reactionary bullshit. Their whole lives they barely got a scrap of profit form this! We can’t see all that exposure and adventures with the US Presidents as proper compensation…the typical compensation for that kind of fame and exposure is and… Read more »

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

Nothing you said above nor previously justifies the racial disparity of the place and time, nor does it effectively justify this man and the company he partnered with for KNOWINGLY and willfully cheating them out of our equivalent of millions. All it says that times were so desperate in the rural south that

at that time and yours that exploitation of black people and everyone else I gather was the norm. It doesn’t say that exploitation is okay nor does it say that there should be no correction of the situation.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

wow GREAT quote. Harriet Tubman is also now considered by many people to have been a “genius”, and this quote demonstrates it. Its also well known that she had a reputation for never getting “sick”.

mibtp
Guest
mibtp

Sign the petition to have PET Milk compensate this family. Please SHARE, POST. TWEET.

https://www.change.org/p/j-m-smucker-compan-pet-milk-pet-milk-compensate-the-fultz-quads-families#petition-letter

KIMBERLY
Guest
KIMBERLY

This article was so sad! Those Fultz Quads was so beautiful! They were treated like animals on display at the zoo, along with their family. The surviving sister needs to get a case against PET MILK and the Doctor”s estate because they shouldn’t been living how they were. I’m wondering about PET MILK and the breast cancer of all 4 sisters. It should some type of data and the effects PET MILK caused babies and adults. I read another article that they selling poster at auctions and the surviving sister can’t afford to get a poster of her and her… Read more »

Shenika Winn
Guest
Shenika Winn

Everyone was thinking it might have been the milk, but I remember at the beginning they said the dr continously gave the mother high dosages of vitamin C as well as to them after they were born. That may have played a major role in them all developing breast cancer.…especially if they were already hereditarily predisposed. Those poor women.

Ra Kingsbury
Guest
Ra Kingsbury

I wish detail was given about the reason they were adopted. Did their parents die? Did the mom have an illness? Makes you wonder when you read about all the daughters developing breast cancer.

SUPNAT
Guest
SUPNAT

How can you say they were in charge of their own lives when the white doctor that delivered them named them after HIS family and put them on display like wild animals? How can you say that when Pet made millions off of them and they lived like peasants? YES THIS WAS A TRAGEDY!!! STILL IS!!!!

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

It looks to me like PET took their photos. PET did not do anything to damage them.—————–If you look at somebody and there is a pane of glass between you, they are not “like wild animals”. Many buildings have doors with windows, and there are no wild animals. Most rooms where children gather have some way to observe them. (or should have)

Guest
Guest
Guest

Just stop it. I know I’m late, but we see this story as tragic, no matter how many times you try to convine us that it wasn’t. White people like you need to get over the fact, that black people do not care what you think about our stories. Get over it.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

Ripping someone off, misrepresenting the details of a deal (eg unfarmable farmland is NOT FARM land) and undervaluing a contract below compensation norms typical of an industry is damage and tort, also your analogy about windows in homes is pathetic apologist BS we put windows on houses for light/heat and so we can look OUT of them at the world not so people can look in. There’s usually laws about that they’re called “peeping toms” Also people are watching over children for there safety and security not for public display, and usually parents teachers or guardians..not just anybodies and strangers… Read more »

April
Guest
April

I’d be willing to bet that that Dr. ended up better compensated than they did.

Kiki
Guest

This is really sad… my heart goes out to the family.

Amma Mama
Guest

I’ve never heard of them. Thank for sharing. Very sad.

allthingsammamama.com

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

When you have a poor family with 10 children, their lives are probably going to look pretty grim, no matter what color they are.

Paige Kay
Guest
Paige Kay

Girl, get out of here. You’re obviously a lost white person trying to downplay how horrifically they (and other Black people) were treated, at the hands of your people. Stop it.

That, or you are Queen of the Uncle Toms. Either way, stop it or be gone. Keep your “all races suffered equally BS” lie in the trash where it belongs.

Guest
Guest
Guest

Lol! These delusional white troll go out of their way to deny the truth. It just doesn’t make sense, and it’s so uneccessary. The reality is this company helped, but compared to the money that was generated, they could have helped more. There’s nothing that can be done about this now. This was just a simple acknowlegement of that fact–that’s it.

Betty-Anne Marie White
Guest
Betty-Anne Marie White

That could be said still today with many wages, and “helps” extended.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

presumptively/ostensibly true, but quite apologist of the racism in this context. Also is that a hitler youth as your profile pic ijs thought noone notice or just don’t gaf?

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

Let’s say you make $40,000 a year, and you are poor as dirt, raising your 6 kids. Now you have 10 kids. Now somebody says he will pay you $420,000 a year if he can take photos of your children. Would you be thankful, on behalf of yourself and your 10 kids? Would you be pleased that the whole family had food every day? Or would you think the people who were keeping you alive were crooks? It would have been nice if Ebony magazine took some concern for their welfare (like S.E.P. did for the Fischer quints) but apparently… Read more »

Euphemia Taylor
Guest
Euphemia Taylor

Are you kidding me? Companies made tons of money off these 4 children, because of the fact that their parents were illiterate they were taken advantage of. Unlike white quintuplets born in their time no trust funds were set up for them. If so maybe three of the sisters wouldn’t have succumbed to breast cancer.

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

Somebody took their photo. How much do you think that is worth?

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany

Any study done on the effectiveness of advertising will tell you that a single picture can be worth millions. And the problem isn’t that they were being paid for their work, it’s that they were being used to generate a ridiculous amount of money for a company in exchange for wages that could barely keep them alive. That’s called exploitation, and you damn sure have the right to complain about that, especially when the person exploiting you exaggerates what they’ve done and attempts to make themselves look better for it.

Ra Kingsbury
Guest
Ra Kingsbury

Exactly.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

Couldn’t say it better myself.

susansusansusan
Guest
susansusansusan

If you do advertising for someone, they pay you for that work. They don’t pay you for the rest of your life. —————-The Dionne quints didn’t exactly live happily ever after——————-There was not much treatment for breast cancer back then. If they shared BRCA (or something comparable) it is no surprise that they died from the same genetic problem.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

yes for life if its in the contract its something called royalties and contracts can be proven in court to be unfair or misleading. Any contract made in their behalf should have been void when they came of age, but their negotiating power would have been weakened after years operating under the unfair contract.

Its probably still not too late to sue everyone involved because of undue influence and torts.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

These women started dying from breast cancers in 1991 not the 1960s there have been treatments and detection screening methods for breast cancers even as far back as the 1990s. This sounds more like lack of access to affordable health care and screening that might have given them a fighting chance. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00026281.htm

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

Themza gon be needin massa permisson to complain aint theys? Them slaves aint got no right to complain for theyz free from dusty afrika and sides massa got’em porrk chops from the leftovaz right from him dinner plate!

Hey guess what you don’t get to decide for them or anyone else. IF you don’t get how this deal was fucked up maybe better if you moved on..and avoid work where you are negotiating contracts for third parties.

Ky
Guest
Ky

Is it possible that the cause of their cancer was this “pet milk”? Even the name itself sounds unprintable. If the last sister was still alive she could have build case proving that they were behind it all

TSBS
Guest
TSBS

I was thinking the exact same thing!

Kit
Guest
Kit

it’s just the name brand of evaporated milk. the same as carnation is a name brand… it’s not that serious.

Poprockcola
Guest

For real. PET must be regional because I drank their chocolate milk everyday at school. The company took advantage of them but the milk is just milk.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

If it were my family I’d most certainly research their processed milk and what agents are used to make that happen and how the livestock are raised on their source farms eg are they grass fed animals like nature intended?.. Even if It is clear that these women have a genetic predisposition. This processed evaporated milk might have had something to do with it, or maybe not I’d prefer to know. Sue the fuck out of all these racist conglomerates, sometimes they will cave out of mere fear of publicity, make the current regime pay for the negligence in revisiting… Read more »

Marshala D Stovall
Guest
Marshala D Stovall

You wrote exactly what I was thinking. Because something is telling me that it wasn’t PET milk that the good old doctor was giving them.

I believe that milk had been compromised in some way.

2sense2
Guest
2sense2

Good point! It could very well had been that PET milk!

Amelia
Guest
Amelia

That company just used them. Which is typical of a white owned company back then. I’m sure them all contracting cancer has something to do with that company or something they constantly exposed the girls to as babies. They were treated like animals and they used their image to sell their shitty milk brand to people of colour to make more money. This is sad, it makes you wonder just how many stories of black people being exploited have been swept under the carpet like this one was. They should make it up to the family.

Kit
Guest
Kit

it’s typical now.

Manny
Guest
Manny

This dictor named them for his family!!

Marisol
Guest
Marisol

That was typical of the white man. During slavery, black women weren’t allowed to name their own children. That was the job of massa’s wife…

Maleka Turner Giovinco
Guest
Maleka Turner Giovinco

this wasn’t slavery.….but as usual a white man taking it advantage of uneducated black people.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

I might beg to differ, it might depend on how you define slavery. Sure they weren’t kept in chains and made to pick cotton, but the industry and culture of slavery certainly doesn’t stop there or end in 1865 does it? I’ll break it down like this and deal with the black exploitation culture apologists in another more pertinent post. They were taken from birth essentially stoeln form their birth parents (it doesn’t really matter how the parents were complicit at the time, consider how many slaves were sold or taken captive by mutual or rival African communities during the… Read more »

Minimal | Assembly
Guest

Great historical article sis!

Marquitta Davis
Guest
Marquitta Davis

Wow, sad but great article

chigozie@yahoo.com
Guest
chigozie@yahoo.com

Dr Jane Plant has documented the causal factors between consuming dairy products and cancer growth, especially in hormone responsive tissue, eg, breasts. This is not a coincidence. Very sad story.

Mrs. Huxtable
Guest
Mrs. Huxtable

If 3 out of 4 identical triplets died early of the same type of cancer we’re probably looking predominantly at genetics, not dietary causes.

chigozie@yahoo.com
Guest
chigozie@yahoo.com

Oh. Really. Kay then. So not the carcinogen. They were all somehow programmed to die of cancer.
Come on. Sorry Doctor Huxtable but genes do not cause cancer. They can only predispose one to cancer. So, if they all had a predisposition, being identical, that would explain why they all got breast cancer which claimed three of their lives after being exposed to a lifetime of concentrated milk products.

Bonnie Blue Crouse
Guest
Bonnie Blue Crouse

Agreed.

Guest
Guest
Guest

You are too far gone. You say “Those sisters were in charge of their own life”, but they were given names picked by the delivery doctor!?

You are too far gone.

Guest
Guest
Guest

I don’t find their lives to be tragic.”–Cool, but we do.

Wayne Hazle
Guest

WOW this is a sad sad story

trail rider
Guest
trail rider

you are missing the biggest joy of there life sampling jfk’s creamy load of cuum and jfk was so nice he let everyone swallow the cream down

Amanda Lee
Guest
Amanda Lee

This shoulc be a movie.

Ojebs
Guest
Ojebs

yes so sad..

Charlotte Web
Guest
Charlotte Web

Such a sad story. These women were so beautiful.

Rose Blankenship
Guest
Rose Blankenship

Certain Cancers are genetically linked.…milk had nothing to do with it.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

oh so never mind research and science we can all just decide for ourselves and make ourselves the authority..okay then..yeh its definitely all that fucking milk because I said so.

Maleka Turner Giovinco
Guest
Maleka Turner Giovinco

all got cancer? a little suspicious to me.….

Bonnie Blue Crouse
Guest
Bonnie Blue Crouse

They were genetically identical, so the idea that all four of them had the same disease is highly suggestive that that form of breast cancer was genetic. Angela Jolie and other women have undergone double mastectomies to give themselves a better chance of escaping the genetic type of breast cancer. Not suspicious at all.

dijah
Guest
dijah

It could have also been the MILK!!!

Bonnie Blue Crouse
Guest
Bonnie Blue Crouse

Genetic forms of breast cancer definitely exist. Angelina Jolie is but one of the cancer‐free women who has undergone a double mastectomy to avoid the genetic type of breast cancer that they are at risk of contracting. It is an area of research that could help with understanding all cancers but there are definitely genetic factors in this particular type of breast cancer. Sorry you didn’t know that till now.

chigozie@yahoo.com
Guest
chigozie@yahoo.com

Genes do not cause cancer, like I said. Carcinogens cause cancer. Milk causes tumours to grow, it is a fluid designed to make things grow rapidly. Angelina jolie cut her breasts off because she has a gene that indicates a high risk of cancer, that is possibly due to the way her body reacts to milk. Some people are adapted to digest milk better. Go and educate yourself about oncology and genetics then you will understand how ridiculous the phrase ‘genetic form of breast cancer’ is. Genes modulate everything the body can do, including neutralising carcinogens. Food is the biggest… Read more »

ThisUsersOpinion
Guest
ThisUsersOpinion

Carcinogens are not the direct cause of all cancers. Many forms of leukemia is not caused by environmental factors. My father died from AML — no proven environmental causes. My sister (same mother, different father) had Ewing’s sarcoma — there are no known environmental causes of that form of cancer.

The fact is that if the sisters had not been tested for the BRCA gene, no one can provide a definitive answer to what caused their cancer. However, it is not a totally out‐there conclusion to assume that they were genetically predisposed.

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

SO your implying that Angeline Jolie preemptively deciding to reduce her chances of getting the cancer that runs in her family is somehow evidence that genetic predisposition is causal in and of itself? Thats not at all scientific. If Angie had not had the procedure does not mean she would have definitely gotten the cancer without another outside triggering factor.

Mk2
Guest
Mk2

That pet milk…hmmm?

Charlie Mu
Guest
Charlie Mu

You are wrong. We all owe each other many things in this life one of them is common decency and human respect and dignity. Another is fair dealings. When those things don’t happen people often get sued or worse. This is called civility, and its the thing that justifies everything from people going home and feeling they are entitled to have rights to “own” property, and on to paying taxes or levies to governments that are supposed to protect the best interests of the civilians and citizens it claims authority over. When some of us begin to feel we don’t… Read more »

Mrs. Huxtable
Guest
Mrs. Huxtable

So ready to make a clapback you skimmed on basic reading comprehension and missed the whole forest for the trees. Tragiqué. I have a very strong background in oncogenetics, I don’t need your watered down wiki explanations, but thanks. lol

chigozie@yahoo.com
Guest
chigozie@yahoo.com

Milk causes cancer. Nothing watered down about Dr Jane Plant, nothing to do with Wikipedia and I don’t know what a clap back is. Despite your ‘strong background’ in oncowhateveryouwanttocallit the fact remains that carcinogens cause cancer. wood, trees, watered down Wikipedia, random French words thrown in and false lols notwithstanding. Identical twins with different diets have different health outcomes, their genetic sameness seems to be blinding you to the obviousness of a cause beyond the fact that they were born the same. I’m not addressing your needs just responding to your nonsensical reply to my comment. Saying genes cause… Read more »

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devans00
Guest

The exploitation involved in the Fultz sisters lives is breathtaking. Reminds you not to take everything gained since the civil rights movement for granted.

I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that scheming Dr. Klenner took the majority of the Pet Milk money for himself. Leaving the girls and their families to live on a pittance. I hope he died a painful death.

R Porterfield
Guest
R Porterfield

This is so incredibly sad.…the level of exploitation. I hope they rest in peace.

marlrat
Guest
marlrat

Mary Catherine Fultz‐Griffin looks at a picture of she and her sisters..’
Editor please!!! Of HER and her sisters!

ThisUsersOpinion
Guest
ThisUsersOpinion

Actually, there is a strong genetic factor to breast cancer. Have you not heard of the BRCA gene? The gene many women get tested for if there is a history of breast cancer in the family? There have been stories of sisters all having incidents of breast cancer — all who share genetics. I imagine that for identical siblings, if one is a carrierr of the BRCA gene, the chances of an identical sibling also being a carrier is significantly higher.

peggyt
Guest
peggyt

The chances are 100% that if one had the gene, the all had the gene. They were identical so genetically they were identical. That is what identical means.

peggyt
Guest
peggyt

Regardless of what the Dion Quints were “paid”, neither the girls nor their parents got the money. The doctor kept the money as he was their legal guardian and he spent all the money.

Mildred Fultz
Guest

I am a relative born in 1963, drank pet milk also have stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. cancer

evelyn
Guest
evelyn

wow I remember seeing their pictures in store where I lived didn’t realize back then how hard their lives were.

Gloria Jefferson
Guest

I enjoyed the story they were very beautiful ladies,sorry that they didnt live longer,God bless them and may the three sisters rest in peace

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