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Breasted, James Henry (27 August 1865–02 December 1935), historian and Egyptologist, was born in Rockford, Illinois, the son of Charles Breasted and Harriet Newell Garrison, owners of a small hardware business. Breasted grew up in a family of limited means. Although he entered North Central College (then Northwestern College) at Naperville, Illinois, at the age of fifteen, he did not obtain his B.A. until 1888, as he interrupted his studies in 1882 to attend Chicago College of Pharmacy and to serve an apprenticeship in a pharmacy. Meanwhile he worked as a clerk in local drugstores to finance his studies. In 1886 he graduated as a pharmacist, but at the insistence of an aunt and with her financial support he entered Chicago Theological Seminary in 1887. His doubts about the inerrancy of the biblical text dissuaded him from a career in the ministry, and in 1890 he enrolled in Yale University to pursue graduate studies in Hebrew with ...

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Brickman, William Wolfgang (30 June 1913–22 June 1986), scholar of the history of education and of comparative education, was born in New York City, the son of David Shalom Brickman, a cutter in the clothing industry, and Chaya Sarah Shaber. After attending Jewish religious elementary and secondary schools in New York City, Brickman entered the City College of New York, where he earned a B.A. in education in 1934 and an M.S. in education in 1935. He received a Ph.D. in education, with a dissertation on Hermann Lietz, an early twentieth-century German educational reformer, from New York University (NYU) in 1938....

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Fortier, Alcée (05 June 1856–14 February 1914), linguist and historian, was born in St. James Parish, Louisiana, the son of Florent Fortier, a sugar planter, and Edwige Aime. Fortier came from distinguished Louisiana stock, the roots of the Fortier family tracing back to the founding of the French colony in the early eighteenth century. His mother belonged to one of the state’s wealthiest sugar planting families....

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Kramer, Samuel Noah (28 September 1897–26 November 1990), Sumerologist and historian, was born in Zashkov (Ukraine), a Jewish ghetto near Kiev in tsarist Russia, the son of Benjamin Kramer, a teacher of the Talmud, and Yetta (maiden name unknown). He grew up in a family that was immersed in the study of the Hebrew Bible. Benjamin Kramer decided to emigrate to the United States out of fear of anti-Semitic pogroms, and in 1905 the family settled in Philadelphia, where the young Kramer’s name, originally Simcha Noach, was anglicized to Samuel Nathan. Only as an adult did Kramer resume using his original middle name in the slightly altered version, Noah....

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Latimer, Elizabeth Wormeley (26 July 1822–04 January 1904), novelist, translator, and historian, was born Mary Elizabeth Wormeley in London, England, the daughter of Rear Admiral Ralph Randolph Wormeley of the English Royal Navy and Caroline Preble of Boston, Massachusetts. Her father was born in Virginia, but as a boy he was taken to England, where he received his education and enlisted in the navy. Elizabeth spent her childhood in England, Boston, Virginia, and France. She was educated mostly by tutors, although she spent a brief time at a boarding school. When she was fourteen, the family moved to London, where she attended the funeral of King William IV and the coronation of Queen Victoria. In Paris she became acquainted with William Makepeace Thackeray and his mother, Mrs. Carmichael Smythe. She witnessed the second funeral of Napoleon and made her debut at the balls of Louis Philippe. In 1842 she traveled to America to visit at the home of friends. Here she met the historian ...

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Lord, Albert Bates (15 September 1912–29 July 1991), folklorist, Slavist, and comparatist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Robert Whiting Lord, a manufacturer of candy, and Corinne Bates Lord. After his high school years at Boston Public Latin School, he entered Harvard University, earning an A.B. in classics (cum laude, 1934) and an M.A. (1936) and Ph.D. (1949) in comparative literature, with graduate specialties in medieval English, ancient Greek, and Serbo-Croatian. On 24 August 1950 he married Mary Louise Carlson, later the long-time chair of Classics at Connecticut College, with whom he had two children: Nathan Eliot Lord, a high school English teacher, and Mark Edwards Lord, a potter and woodworker....

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Welles, Charles Bradford (09 August 1901–08 October 1969), ancient historian, epigraphist, and papyrologist, was born in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, the son of Charles Thomas Welles, a Hartford banker, and Edith Smith. He was educated at public high school in Hartford, Phillips Exeter Academy for a postgraduate year, and Yale (B.A., 1924; Ph.D. in classics, 1928). The decisive event of his career occurred with the arrival at Yale in 1925 of ...

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Westermann, William Linn (15 September 1873–04 October 1954), ancient historian and papyrologist, was born in Belleville, Illinois, the son of Louis Westermann, a store clerk, and Emma Tyndale. He attended the University of Nebraska from 1890 to 1896 (B.A., 1894; M.A., 1896). He returned to Illinois to teach Latin for three years at Decatur High School, but then revealed greater ambition by enrolling as a student of classical philology at the University of Berlin, in what he called the land of his ancestors. In Berlin and in Heidelberg, where he spent one semester, he studied with some of the leading classical scholars of the day, especially with Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff and Hermann Diels, who were exacting masters. The product was the brief dissertation, “De Hippocratis in Galeno memoria quaestiones” (Berlin, 1902), notable for its incidental declaration that he was without religious faith....

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Wright, Mary Clabaugh (25 September 1917–18 June 1970), sinologist and historian, was born Mary Oliver Clabaugh in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the daughter of Samuel F. Clabaugh, a businessman and the publisher of the Tuscaloosa News, and Mary Duncan. Mary received an A.B. in languages from Vassar College in 1938. She then studied European history and Chinese civilization at Radcliffe, receiving her M.A. in 1939....