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Ayres, Leonard Porter (15 September 1879–29 October 1946), educator, statistician, and economist, was born in Niantic, Connecticut, the son of Milan Church Ayres and Georgiana Gall. His father, a clergyman, author, and journalist, was editor of the Boston Daily Advertiser. The family moved to Newton Highlands, Massachusetts, where Leonard received his early education in public schools. An avid bicycle racer, he participated in national matches as a young man. After receiving his Ph.B. degree from Boston University in 1902, he taught school in Puerto Rico, rising rapidly to become general superintendent of the island’s schools and chief of the Education Department’s Statistics Division in 1906. Returning to the states, he moved to New York City and joined the Russell Sage Foundation in 1908 to conduct investigations of the health and education of schoolchildren under the direction of ...

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Babson, Roger Ward (06 July 1875–05 March 1967), businessman, author, and philanthropist, was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the son of Nathaniel Babson, a dry-goods merchant and wholesaler, and Ellen Stearns. As a child, Babson spent his summers in Gloucester on his paternal grandfather’s farm, an experience that later prompted him to write that he “owed more to that farm than any educational institution.” Off the farm, the young Babson, who was a rowdy albeit “nervous” boy, worried his mother by associating not with other middle-class Yankee children but with the “Gould Courters,” an Irish street gang....

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Bryant, Louise Frances Stevens (19 September 1885–29 August 1959), social statistician and medical editor, was born in Paris, France, the daughter of Charles E. Stevens, a civil engineer, and Miriam Collins Nicholson. She spent her first three years touring Europe with her mother and sister while her father led government-sponsored prospecting operations in South America. In 1888 he died, leaving a sizable inheritance, and they settled in New York City. The inheritance dissipated in unfortunate investments, and in 1910 she moved with her family to Rahway, New Jersey. After attending Hunter College and the Normal College of the City of New York for a year, she matriculated in 1904 at Smith College, where she studied philosophy and zoology and received her B.A. in 1908. Later that year she married Arthur A. Bryant; they had no children....

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Chandler, Seth Carlo, Jr. (16 September 1846–31 December 1913), astronomer, geodesist, and actuary, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Seth Carlo Chandler, Sr., a businessman, and Mary Cheever. Chandler attended the English High School at Boston, graduating in 1861. During his last year in high school he became associated with ...

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Cochran, William Gemmell (15 July 1909–29 March 1980), statistician, was born in Rutherglen, Scotland, the son of Thomas Cochran, a railroad employee, and Jeannie (maiden name unknown). After residing at several locations, the family settled in Glasgow when Willie (“Wully”) was sixteen years old. In 1927 Cochran won a competitive scholarship enabling him to attend Glasgow University, where he received an M.A. in 1931. Cochran was then awarded another scholarship to attend St. John’s College, Cambridge. There he studied mathematics and statistics with John Wishart. The Great Depression both interested Cochran in a rigorous analysis of economic problems and led him to leave the university before completing requirements for a Ph.D. A position opened at Rothamsted Experimental Station, so Cochran took the post as an assistant to Frank Yates. He worked at Rothamsted for five years, compiling ...

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Cox, Gertrude Mary (13 January 1900–17 October 1978), statistician, was born near Dayton, Iowa, the daughter of John William Allen Cox and Emmaline Maddy, farmers. After graduating from high school in 1918, she spent the next seven years in social work, including a stint as housemother at a Montana orphanage. Hoping that a college degree would help her become superintendent of the orphanage, in 1925 she matriculated at Iowa State College. She received her B.S. in mathematics in 1929 and, in 1931, the first M.S. granted by the college in statistics. From 1931 to 1933 she studied psychological statistics at the University of California at Berkeley....

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Dorchester, Daniel (11 March 1827–13 March 1907), Methodist clergyman and statistician of American church history, was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, the son of the Reverend Daniel Dorchester, a Methodist clergyman, and Mary Otis. He attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, for two years; in 1847 he entered the Methodist ministry. In April 1850 he married Mary Payson Davis; they had seven children. Mary died in 1874, and in 1875 Dorchester married Merial A. Whipple....

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Elliott, Ezekiel Brown (16 July 1823–24 May 1888), statistician, was born in Sweden, New York, the son of John B. Elliott, a physician, and Janna (maiden name unknown). He prepared for college at the Geneva Academy and entered Hamilton College in 1840. He graduated in 1844, having displayed a marked aptitude for mathematics, physics, and astronomy....

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Gouverneur Emerson. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B06655).

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Emerson, Gouverneur (04 August 1795–02 July 1874), physician, statistician, and agriculturalist, was born near Dover, Delaware, the son of Jonathan Emerson and Ann Bell, well-to-do farmers. After education at the Quaker Westtown School in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the classical school of the Reverend Stephen Sykes in Dover, Emerson began the study of medicine in 1811 with Sykes’s physician brother James, also of Dover, and then entered the School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in 1813. He was graduated in 1816, offering a dissertation on hereditary diseases. For two years Emerson practiced in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania; then in 1818 he went to Canton, China, as surgeon on a merchant vessel. He opened his practice in Philadelphia on 4 August 1820....

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Hoffman, Frederick Ludwig (02 May 1865–23 February 1946), statistician and public health author, was born in the town of Varel, in the former Duchy of Oldenburg (near the North Sea, not far from the port city of Bremen), in present-day northwestern Germany, the son of Augustus Franciscus Hoffman, an accountant, and Antoinette Marie Elise von Laar. In 1876 Hoffman’s father died. A few years later, at age fifteen, Hoffman left school to become an apprentice in a mercantile business because there were not sufficient funds to provide for his university education. The work did not suit him; after six months, he left. After working at several other unsatisfactory jobs, he decided to emigrate to the United States. He arrived at New York City on 28 November 1884, and he became a U.S. citizen on 25 October 1893....

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Hotelling, Harold (29 September 1895–26 December 1973), economist and statistician, was born in Fulda, Minnesota, the son of Clair Alberta Hotelling, a hay merchant, and Lucy Amelia Rawson. When Hotelling was about nine years old, the family moved to Seattle, Washington, which offered educational opportunities not available in Fulda. Hotelling attended high school there and then went on to study at the University of Washington, where he majored in journalism. His studies were interrupted by World War I army service, from which he was discharged early in 1919. He completed his degree in that same year. His undergraduate studies had included mathematics, science, and economics as well as journalism. Later, when he was a professor of economics, he was to exaggerate the amount of that subject he had taken (only three courses), probably because he was sensitive about the relatively little formal training he had received in it....

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Hourwich, Isaac Aaronovich (26 April 1860–09 July 1924), author, lawyer, and statistician, was born in Vilna, Russia, the son of Adolph Hourwich and Rebecca Sheveliovich. Although his father’s occupation is unknown, it is known that Hourwich was born into a middle-class Jewish family and that his father was a well-educated man....

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Jacoby, Oswald (08 December 1902–27 June 1984), bridge champion and actuary, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Oswald Nathaniel Jacoby, a prosperous attorney, and Edith Sondheim. From them, at the age of ten, he learned the card game that was to make him famous....

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Jarvis, Edward (09 January 1803–31 October 1884), psychiatrist and statistician, was born Asa Jarvis in Concord, Massachusetts, the son of Francis Jarvis, a baker and farmer, and Millicent Hosmer. In 1821 he changed his name to Edward Asa Jarvis, and shortly thereafter he stopped using his middle name. Raised in a patriarchal household, Jarvis imbibed the Unitarian faith in an orderly and moral world. He entered Harvard College in 1822 and graduated four years later. After successive apprenticeships with Drs. George C. Shattuck and Benjamin Lincoln, he received an M.D. from the Harvard Medical School in 1830. In 1834 he married Almira Hunt; they had no children. The two collaborated in treating mentally ill patients in their home as well as in professional work. Between 1830 and 1837 he practiced successively in Concord and Northfield, Massachusetts, and then moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he remained until 1842. His ventures in private practice, however, proved disappointing because relatively few patients returned for visits. In 1842 he returned to Massachusetts and settled in Dorchester. He quickly made the practice of psychiatry his specialty, which included caring for a small number of private mentally ill patients in his home....

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Koopmans, Tjalling Charles (28 August 1910–26 February 1985), econometrician and mathematical economist, was born in ’s Graveland, the Netherlands, the son of Sjoerd Koopmans and Wijtske van der Zee, schoolteachers. The grammar school Koopmans and his two brothers attended was that at which their father was headmaster....

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Lotka, Alfred James (02 March 1880–05 December 1949), statistician and demographer, was born in Lemberg, Austria-Hungary (now Lwiw, Ukraine), the son of Jacques Lotka and Marie Doebely, religious missionaries who, although American citizens, lived most of their lives in Europe. Lotka’s boyhood was spent in France and Germany. He attended the University of Birmingham (England), receiving his B.Sc. in 1901. He was broadly interested in physics, chemistry, and biology, and even at this period saw mathematical links between phenomena conventionally studied in independent disciplines....

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Neyman, Jerzy (16 April 1894–05 August 1981), statistician, was born in Bendery, Moldavia, the son of Polish parents, Czeslaw Neyman, a judge, and Kazimiera Lutoslawska. Shortly after Neyman’s birth, the family moved several times, including to Simferopol in the Crimea, where Neyman began his schooling. After his father’s death in 1906, they moved to Kharkov, where Neyman excelled in the Gymnasium and entered the University of Kharkov (now Maxim Gorki University) in 1912. Neyman was known by different names over this period; called Jurek as a boy, he was Yuri Czeslawovich Neyman at the University of Kharkov, and for a time in the 1920s he published under the name Jerzy Splawa-Neyman, adopting his Polish grandfather’s old heraldic or ...

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Olds, Leland (31 December 1890–03 August 1960), statistician, journalist, and government regulatory official, was born in Rochester, New York, the son of George Daniel Olds, a professor of mathematics at the University of Rochester, and Marion Elizabeth Leland. In 1891 his father became chair of the mathematics department at Amherst College and eventually president of the college in 1924. Inspired by conservationist ...

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Pearl, Raymond (03 June 1879–17 November 1940), biologist and statistician, was born in Farmington, New Hampshire, the son of Frank Pearl, a grocery clerk and shoe factory foreman, and Ida May McDuffee. After attending public schools in New Hampshire, Pearl went to Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1899 with an A.B. in biology. He received a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Michigan in 1902. In 1903 he married Maud Mary DeWitt, also a student at the University of Michigan. His wife became his editorial assistant and occasional coauthor; the couple had two children....