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Breasted, James Henry (27 August 1865–02 December 1935), historian and Egyptologist, was born in Rockford, Illinois, the son of Charles Breasted and Harriet Newell Garrison, owners of a small hardware business. Breasted grew up in a family of limited means. Although he entered North Central College (then Northwestern College) at Naperville, Illinois, at the age of fifteen, he did not obtain his B.A. until 1888, as he interrupted his studies in 1882 to attend Chicago College of Pharmacy and to serve an apprenticeship in a pharmacy. Meanwhile he worked as a clerk in local drugstores to finance his studies. In 1886 he graduated as a pharmacist, but at the insistence of an aunt and with her financial support he entered Chicago Theological Seminary in 1887. His doubts about the inerrancy of the biblical text dissuaded him from a career in the ministry, and in 1890 he enrolled in Yale University to pursue graduate studies in Hebrew with ...

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Reisner, George Andrew (05 November 1867–06 June 1942), Egyptologist, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of George Andrew Reisner and Mary Elizabeth Mason. He was a descendant of one of Napoleon’s German soldiers who immigrated to America. Reisner took his undergraduate and graduate education at Harvard University, where he obtained a B.A. in 1889 and a Ph.D. in Semitic language and literature in 1893. He continued his studies in Germany, first at Göttingen and then at Berlin. At Berlin the great Egyptologist Adolph Erman turned him in the direction of Egyptology....