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Burgess, George Kimball (04 January 1874–02 July 1932), physicist and director of the National Bureau of Standards, was born in Newton, Massachusetts, the son of Charles A. Burgess and Addie Louise Kimball. Burgess attended the public schools of Newton, graduating from Newton High School in 1892, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), graduating in 1896 with a B.S. degree in physics. He remained at MIT for two additional years as an assistant instructor in physics and won an MIT traveling fellowship to do graduate study abroad. He chose the Sorbonne, a choice that had two major consequences for him. First, as a student of physics there (1898–1900) he came to know such leading French scientists as Henri Le Chatelier, Gabriel Lippmann, and Henri Poincaré. During his two years in Paris, Burgess completed his course work, performed high-temperature measurements, and translated Le Chatelier’s book on temperature measurement into English. After spending the academic year 1900–1901 as an instructor in physics at the University of Michigan, Burgess returned to Paris to defend his doctoral thesis, a redetermination of the gravitational constant by means of a redesigned torsion balance. The second major consequence of his Paris sojourn was that he met Suzanne Babut, whom he married in 1901; they had no children....

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Coolidge, Albert Sprague (23 January 1894–31 August 1977), chemical physicist, political activist, and civil libertarian, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Frederic Shurtleff Coolidge, an orthopedic surgeon, and Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. His mother was the daughter of Albert Arnold Sprague, a pioneer merchant of Chicago, which made it possible for Sprague Coolidge to be financially independent. He was directly descended from John Coolidge of Watertown, Massachusetts, who emigrated from England in 1630 and whose farm occupied almost all of what is now Cambridge, Massachusetts. His college preparatory education was at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. He graduated summa cum laude with an A.B. from Harvard College in 1915. That year he married Margaret Stewart Coit. They had five children....

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Hugh L. Dryden Courtesy of NASA (DRFC E-4248).

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Dryden, Hugh Latimer (02 July 1898–02 December 1965), physicist, was born in Pocomoke City, Maryland, the son of Samuel Isaac Dryden, a schoolteacher, and Zenovia Hill Culver. In 1907 the practicing Methodist family moved to Baltimore City, where Dryden’s father worked as a streetcar conductor for the rest of his life. In 1910 young Dryden saw an airplane for the first time, and, in his recollection, this prompted him to focus his life on aeronautics. He attended the Johns Hopkins University, receiving his B.A. with honors in 1916 and his M.A. in physics two years later....

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Grant, James Benton (02 January 1848–01 November 1911), metallurgist and governor of Colorado, was born in Russell County, Alabama, the son of Thomas McDonough Grant, a physician and owner of a plantation on the Chattahoochee River, and Mary Jane Benton. Both of his parents were natives of Halifax County, North Carolina. Grant’s grandfather was a member of the Highland clan of Grants who, after having fought in the Battle of Culloden, were transported as rebellious subjects to North Carolina in 1746. Grant’s father Thomas, after receiving an education in medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Charleston, South Carolina, migrated to Alabama to practice medicine and farm. Meanwhile, Grant’s uncle, James Grant, who would play an important role in his life, migrated to frontier Chicago, Illinois, where he began practicing law in 1833....

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Haworth, Leland John (11 July 1904–05 March 1979), physicist, administrator, and government official, was born in Flint, Michigan, the son of Paul Leland Haworth and Martha Ackerman. He grew up on a large fruit farm in West Newton, Indiana, near Indianapolis, where his father was a professor of history at both Indiana University and Butler University. In 1921 Haworth graduated from West Newton High School, where he played on the baseball team....

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Lauritsen, Charles Christian (04 April 1892–13 April 1968), nuclear physicist, rocket designer, and national defense science policy adviser, was born in Holstebro, Denmark, the son of Thomas Lauritsen, a sawmill owner, and Marie Nielsen. Lauritsen graduated with a degree in architecture from the Odense Technical School in 1911. In 1915 he married Sigrid Henriksen, a radiologist; they had one child, ...