Abel de Lacerda was born in 1921. Despite being the great-grandson, grandson and son of doctors, he himself had no vocation for medicine and decided to study Economic and Financial Sciences. His father, Jerónimo de Lacerda, created the largest health resort in the Iberian Peninsula at Caramulo.
João de Lacerda was born in 1923, in Caramulo. On completing his secondary school education, he decided to follow the family tradition and studied to be a doctor at the Faculdade de Medicina in Lisbon. He immediately began to specialise in Respiratory Medicine, working with well-known phthisiologists.