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Hillegass, Clifton Keithlocked

(18 April 1918–05 May 2001)
  • Dennis Wepman


Hillegass, Clifton Keith (18 April 1918–05 May 2001), publisher, was born in Rising City, Nebraska, the son of Pearl Clinton Hillegass, a rural mail carrier and farmer, and Rosena Dechert. An earnest youngster, he read voraciously, a habit reinforced by two months spent in bed recovering from surgery when he was seven years old. He later claimed to have read every book in his high-school library by the time he graduated in 1934. He also worked hard delivering newspapers and selling magazines. In 1934 the sixteen-year-old entered Midland College, a Lutheran school in nearby Fremont, Nebraska, supporting himself as a stock clerk at a Woolworth store until he received his bachelor's degree with a double major in physics and mathematics three years later. His employers at Woolworth asked him to stay on, but Hillegass instead accepted a graduate assistantship in physics and geology at the University of Nebraska in nearby Lincoln, the state capital....

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