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date: 30 March 2020

Claude, Albertlocked

(24 August 1899–22 May 1983)
  • David Y. Cooper


Claude, Albert (24 August 1899–22 May 1983), cell biologist, was born in Longlier, Belgium, the son of Florentin Joseph Claude, a baker, and Marie-Glaudicine Watriquant. Claude’s mother died after a long battle with cancer when he was seven. He attended the village school for a few years, but before World War I his family moved to the German-speaking village of Athus. At age twelve Claude went to work in a steel mill, first as an apprentice and then as a draftsman. When World War I broke out, he volunteered for the British Intelligence Service; he was cited for bravery in 1918, receiving the British War Medal, the Interallied Medal, and a personal citation from Winston Churchill. These activities, however, did not prevent him from pursuing a course of self-education. All his life he had desired to study medicine, but his lack of a high school degree prevented him from entering medical school. In 1921 Claude reluctantly took and passed the entrance examination to the School of Mining Engineering in Liège. He was accepted but never attended, because in 1922 the government removed the high school diploma requirement, and he was allowed to enter the medical school at the University of Liège. He received his M.D. in 1928, writing a thesis on sarcoma in mice....

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