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Cushing, Harvey Williams (08 April 1869–07 October 1939), neurosurgeon, medical historian, and bibliophile, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in the Western Reserve of Connecticut, the son of Henry Kirke Cushing, a physician, and Betsey Maria Williams. In addition to his father, Cushing’s paternal grandfather, great grandfather, and great-great grandfather were all physicians in general practice. Cushing’s childhood was a happy and full one with strong parental role models. He found opportunities at home to consort, through books, with the world of ideas, and to explore history. His early education was in the public schools of Cleveland and from his mother, who taught him French and introduced him to general literature and poetry. In 1887 Cushing entered Yale University, where he spent four happy years, achieving election to Scroll and Key (a matter of considerable importance to him) and securing the short-stop position on the Yale freshman baseball team and, later, membership on the varsity nine....

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Edgar Alexander Mearns. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-115922).

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Mearns, Edgar Alexander (11 September 1856–01 November 1916), ornithologist, mammalogist, and army surgeon, was born in Highland Falls, New York, the son of Alexander Mearns and Nancy Carswell. He attended Donald Highland Institute in Highland Falls. When still very young, he grew interested in local plants and animals and planned a book on the natural history of the area, which he was unable to complete at the time. Many years later, in 1898, he did publish a fifty-page account of some of his conclusions as “A Study of the Vertebrate Fauna of the Hudson Highlands, with observations on the Mollusca, Crustacea, Lepidoptera, and the Flora of the Region” in the ...

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Morris, John McLean (01 September 1914–08 April 1993), reproductive biologist and physician, was born in Kuling, China, the son of DuBois Morris, a Presbyterian missionary and pastor of Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, and Alice Buell. The suffering and cruelty Morris witnessed in China as a child had a lasting influence on his life. He later spoke of seeing people stepping over the bodies of the dead and dying in the streets. His interest in women’s health and reproductive issues stemmed from the widespread infanticide of baby girls he saw in China....

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Saugrain De Vigni, Antoine François (17 February 1763–18 or 19 May 1820), naturalist, mineralogist, surgeon, and physician, was born in Paris, France, the son of Antoine Claude Saugrain, a bookseller, and Marie Brunet. Little is known of Saugrain’s education other than through a 1787 letter of introduction to ...