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Babson, Roger Ward (06 July 1875–05 March 1967), businessman, author, and philanthropist, was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the son of Nathaniel Babson, a dry-goods merchant and wholesaler, and Ellen Stearns. As a child, Babson spent his summers in Gloucester on his paternal grandfather’s farm, an experience that later prompted him to write that he “owed more to that farm than any educational institution.” Off the farm, the young Babson, who was a rowdy albeit “nervous” boy, worried his mother by associating not with other middle-class Yankee children but with the “Gould Courters,” an Irish street gang....

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Hoffman, Frederick Ludwig (02 May 1865–23 February 1946), statistician and public health author, was born in the town of Varel, in the former Duchy of Oldenburg (near the North Sea, not far from the port city of Bremen), in present-day northwestern Germany, the son of Augustus Franciscus Hoffman, an accountant, and Antoinette Marie Elise von Laar. In 1876 Hoffman’s father died. A few years later, at age fifteen, Hoffman left school to become an apprentice in a mercantile business because there were not sufficient funds to provide for his university education. The work did not suit him; after six months, he left. After working at several other unsatisfactory jobs, he decided to emigrate to the United States. He arrived at New York City on 28 November 1884, and he became a U.S. citizen on 25 October 1893....

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Shattuck, Lemuel (15 October 1793–17 January 1859), statistician and public health pioneer, was born in Ashby, Massachusetts, the son of John Shattuck and Betsey Miles, farmers. In 1794 the family moved to rural New Ipswich township, in southern New Hampshire, where Shattuck lived until 1816. As a boy, his studies at the local common school averaged in length only five or six weeks a year, and he attended Appleton Academy but two quarters. However, between farm labors he managed to read widely on his own....

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Sutton, William Loftus (21 May 1797–20 July 1862), physician and statistician, was born near Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky, the son of John Sutton, Jr., and Mary Coleman, farmers. After completing classical studies at Bourbon Academy in Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, he began his medical apprenticeship in 1815 under ...

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Sydenstricker, Edgar (15 July 1881–19 March 1936), public health statistician, was born in Shanghai, China, the son of Absalom Sydenstricker and Caroline Stulting, Presbyterian missionaries; the author Pearl S. Buck was his sister. After receiving his secondary education at home, he came to the United States in 1896 and matriculated at Fredericksburg College in Virginia, where he received his A.B. in 1900. He then enrolled in Washington and Lee University, where he studied economics and sociology, receiving his M.A. in 1902....