Frederick Douglass Parrott, Jr., MD, transitioned into eternity on January 14, 2022. He was 94 years of age.
Dr. Parrott – or as he introduced himself after retirement, Dr. Fred – was a man who believed in hard work, positivity, community and making intentional and significant efforts to improve the health and lives of disadvantaged communities and individuals.
Dr. Parrott was born on December 22, 1927 in Houston, Texas to Mollie Carroll Parrott and Frederick Douglass Parrott, Sr. Fred attended Howard University where he completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology by age 19. He subsequently moved to Los Angeles and earned a graduate degree in Microbiology from UCLA.
During the early 1950s, Dr. Parrott entered the Medical Service Corps of the United States Army, where he was stationed in Tokyo, Japan for two years while he worked as a bacteriologist. After leaving the military, he became a sales representative for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
He then attended Meharry Medical College. After graduating from Meharry with his Doctor of Medicine in 1958, he returned to Los Angeles to serve as an intern at the Los Angeles County Hospital before becoming a Fellow in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Dr. Parrott then returned to Los Angeles for the third, and final time, to practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology for over thirty years.
Dr. Parrott was a member of the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association, the Los Angeles County Medical Association and the Charles R. Drew Medical Society. He was also a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a founding member of the National Prostate Cancer Coalition.
Dr. Parrott received the Black Heritage Award and President’s Medal of Honor from Howard University and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Meharry Medical College. Dr. Parrott was also a member of the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles and a supporter of the organization’s Young Black Scholars program.
Dr. Parrott founded the “Real Men Cook Foundation” in 1986. The foundation raised money for the four Historically African American medical schools in the country – Meharry Medical College, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Howard University College of Medicine.
The Real Men Cook Foundation hosted standing-room only events for 10 years where amateur chefs would cook, participants would pay to attend, and organizations would provide sponsorship support. Dr. Parrott was directly responsible for raising over $3 million for these medical schools during his lifetime.
In 1994, after his prostate cancer diagnosis, Dr. Parrott shifted his focus and founded the “Real Men Cook Foundation Center for Early Detection of Prostate Cancer,” with a goal of increasing awareness of prostate cancer and the need for preventive services among men in communities of color.
By joining forces with urologists and local community leaders in Los Angeles and elsewhere, the Foundation provided free education and screening for 50,000 men in underserved communities. Dr. Parrott was a 30-year prostate cancer survivor, and he credited early detection for his longevity.
Dr. Parrott’s was just as passionate about helping people when no one was looking. He was critical in helping many individuals launch their own imagination of what they could achieve by exposing them to what was possible. In essence, giving back was a core part of Dr. Parrott’s being which he sought to instill in others.
His journey took him far and wide. For example, during his academic pursuits in Los Angeles, he worked for Marilyn Monroe’s manager, owned a men’s boutique that sold tailored suits while he served in the military in Japan, and was a very successful real estate entrepreneur in Los Angeles. He was, at times, understated, but never boring or inert.
In addition to his parents, Dr. Parrott was preceded in death by his sister, Carroll Parrott Blue, who was a well accomplished filmmaker and community advocate in her own right.
He is survived by numerous cousins, including Dr. Natalie Carroll Dailey, Cheryl Dotson, Andrea Dotson Alexander, Hughdell Gatewood, Brigitte Gatewood Wilson, and Gene E. Parrott.