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Friend, Charlotte (11 March 1921–07 January 1987), immunologist and cell biologist, was born in New York City, the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants Morris Friend, a businessman, and Cecelia Wolpin, a pharmacist. Friend’s father died when she was three years old, and her mother was left with four young children to raise during the depression. Friend took advantage of the many free cultural and educational advantages that New York offered and developed a wide-ranging, lifelong interest in art, music, and science. Following graduation from Hunter College of the City of New York in 1944, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as an officer in hematology laboratories in California and Florida. When World War II ended, she enrolled as a graduate student at Yale University with the financial assistance of the G.I. Bill. She received her Ph.D. in bacteriology in 1950....

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Wilson, Edmund Beecher (19 October 1856–03 March 1939), cytologist, embryologist, and geneticist, was born in Geneva, Illinois, the son of Isaac G. Wilson, a lawyer and judge, and Caroline Clarke. In 1859 Isaac Wilson was appointed circuit judge in Chicago, and he and Caroline left their three-year-old child, “Eddy,” with his maternal aunt, Mrs. Charles Patten, in Geneva. He viewed his childless aunt and her husband as a second set of parents....