Abstract Ruth B. Freeman was an outstanding public health nurse leader of her time. Born in 1906, Freeman earned a doctorate and became an educator at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and a prolific author in the field of public health nursing. She spoke elegantly and forthrightly about the issues of public health, placing nursing on a par with other professions working toward the improvement of health on a global level. A year before her retirement, she was invited to give the Sybil Palmer Bellos lecture, an annual event that continues today at the Yale University School of Nursing. Selected excerpts from this lecture are reprinted in this analysis of Freeman's address. The entirety of the address was printed in Public Health Nursing, Volume 1, Issue 1, in 1984.