It wasn't until she invented the Apgar score that she began to earn the recognition that she deserved, but she didn't stop there.
Born in New Jersey in 1909, Apgar always had a keen interest in science. The Apgar test is conducted a minute after birth, and again four minutes later, in order to judge the effectiveness of intervention. Apgar is is an acronym for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiratory effort.
In 1952, she created a life-saving test. A higher score in the test means less threat to the baby's survival.
"Compiled scores for each newborn can range between 0 and 10, with 10 being the best possible condition for a newborn. I love to see new places, and I certainly can chatter", she said about the job she took working as the director of the department of birth defects for what is now the March of Dimes.
Dr. Apgar developed the test after noticing that, even though the general US infant mortality rate fell between the 1930s and 1950s, it remained constant for babies within the first day of life.
Dr Apgar graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1933 and became the first women to head a speciality division at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Apgar was also an early expert in the area of birth defects.
Her contributions are even more noteworthy as she did her research and inventions at a time when women were discouraged to pursue higher education in medicine.
Dr Virginia Apgar received a degree in public health from John Hopkins University in 1959.
Apgar was quick to realise the trend and concentrated on the methods for decreasing the infant mortality rate specifically within the first 24 hours of the newborn's life. Apgar has published over 60 medical articles, and co-wrote the bestseller "Is My Baby All Right?" with Joan Beck.
She never married and died of cirrhosis of the liver on August 7, 1974. She passed away at the age of 65 in the same hospital where she was practising.