Sambhu Nath De (popularly known as S N De) was born in Hooghly District, West Bengal, India. His father Mr Dasarathi De was a small businessman. Supported by his uncle Asutosh De, De completed the Matriculation examination with distinction that helped him to get the District scholarship as well as to pursue further education in Hooghly Mohsin College, which was then affiliated with the prestigious University of Calcutta. His higher education was supported by Kestodhan Seth, who identified De as an extraordinary student. De passed his M.B. examination in 1939 from Calcutta Medical College and completed a Diploma in Tropical Medicine (DTM) in 1942. Soon after graduation he joined Calcutta Medical College as a Demonstrator of Pathology and initiated his research under Professor B. P. Tribedi. In 1947, De joined as a Ph.D. student under Sir Roy Cameron at the Department of Morbid Anatomy, University College Hospital Medical School, London, and obtained his Ph.D. degree in Pathology in 1949. After his return, De worked on pathogenesis of cholera and started publishing his findings. In 1955, De became the Head of Pathology and Bacteriology Division of the Calcutta Medical College, which he continued until his retirement. De published more than 30 research papers and has written an excellent monograph on cholera and its pathogenesis.