Born in West Pembroke, Maine on February 27, 1899 to Luella Fisher and Herbert Huestis Best, Canadians from Nova Scotia.
As a 22-year-old medical student at the University of Toronto he worked as an assistant to the surgeon Dr. Frederick Banting and contributed to the discovery of the pancreatic hormone insulin, which led to an effective treatment for diabetes
Best married Margaret Hooper Mahon in Toronto in 1924 and they had two sons. One son, Dr. Henry Best was a well-regarded historian who -later became president of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Best's other son was Charles Alexander Best, a Canadian politician and geneticist.
He died on March 31, 1978 in Toronto, Ontario. Best is interred in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto (section 29) not far from Sir Frederick Banting.
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