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Delbrück, Maxlocked

(04 September 1906–10 March 1981)
  • Lily E. Kay


Delbrück, Max (04 September 1906–10 March 1981), physicist-turned-molecular biologist, physicist-turned–molecular biologist, was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of Hans Delbrück, a historian, and Lina Thiersch. Born into the Prussian intellectual and political elite, Delbrück’s identity was shaped by the legacies of both his maternal and paternal families. His father, noted for his prolific scholarship in military world history, came from a family of political leaders; Delbrück’s uncle (also called Max Delbrück) was a famous industrial chemist in Berlin. The world-famous chemist Justus von Liebig was Max Delbrück’s maternal great-grandfather, and his maternal uncle (by marriage), Adolf von Harnack, was Germany’s foremost modern theologian and founder and first president of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft. Nurtured within that distinguished family and steeped in the ideals of ...

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