Beny Jene Primm was born on May 21, 1928, in the coal town of Williamson, and died on October 16, 2015.
Beny father and uncle owned a funeral home, and his mother taught in a one-room schoolhouse in a nearby town.
Because of the family business, local doctors often visited, and from early childhood, he set his sights on entering the medical profession.
In 1941, the family moved to the Bronx, where he attended DeWitt Clinton High School.
Beny was an indifferent student and, after failing the state Regents exam twice, graduated with a general rather than an academic diploma in 1945.
At West Virginia State University, a historically black institution near Charleston, he improved only slightly as a student but thrived in the R.O.T.C.
After graduating in 1950, Beny was assigned to the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg and trained as a paratrooper.
With lackluster academic credentials, he looked outside the United States for a medical school after leaving the Army in 1953.
Having studied German in college, Beny enrolled in the Heidelberg University but, for financial reasons, left after a year.
Beny passed away at age 78 in October 2015.