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Gorrie, John (03 October 1802?–29 June 1855), physician and inventor, was born either in Charlestown on the island of Nevis, West Indies, or Charleston, South Carolina, of uncertain parentage. Because of his olive complexion and dark hair and eyes, some say his mother fled Spain for the West Indies where she bore John illegitimately. Mother and son accompanied Captain Gorrie, a Scots officer in the Spanish navy, to Charleston when John was twelve to eighteen months old in 1803. Gorrie left them in Charleston, and she received money from Spain until John graduated from college. Other accounts list Charleston as his birthplace in 1803 and his nationality as Scotch-Irish....

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Pritikin, Nathan (29 August 1915–21 February 1985), inventor and nutritionist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Jacob Pritikin, an outdoor sign salesman, and Esther Leavitt. Nathan’s nurturing parents supported and encouraged their enterprising son. In 1933 he enrolled in the University of Chicago. The ambitious student also owned Flash Foto, a prosperous photography business. In 1935 Pritikin withdrew from college and made a fortune inventing technical gadgets....