This work describes the style of management of Dr. William Gorgas as he led the public health effort to reduce diseases to a level that permitted the completion of the Panama Canal construction. Initially, Gorgas was skeptical of the mosquito vector theory. He fully accepted this theory after participating in Walter Reed’s massive cleanup of Havana, Cuba during the Spanish American War of 1898. During 1905 to 1914, Gorgas was selected to lead the sanitary effort during the construction of the Panama Canal. The lessons learned from this historical case study provide public health administrators with guidance to effectively lead current and future infectious diseases threats. Understanding styles of management within the context of disease control is essential in tackling epidemics like yellow fever and other infectious diseases.