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Alexander, Joseph Addison (24 April 1809–28 January 1860), Presbyterian scholar and minister, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Janetta Waddel and Archibald Alexander, a Presbyterian minister. Alexander, who was always called Addison, grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, where in 1812 his father was called to be the first professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. At an early age, Alexander displayed the ability in languages that would make him a marvel throughout his life. By the time he began formal instruction with local tutors, his father had taught him the rudiments of Latin and Greek and also introduced him to Semitic languages. By the time he graduated from the College of New Jersey as a seventeen-year old in 1826, he had read the Koran in Arabic, made considerable progress in Persian and Syriac, and begun the wide-ranging study of contemporary European languages that he never stopped. It was his habit, begun before entering college and continuing to the week of his death, to read the Bible daily in at least six languages. Alexander’s nephew and biographer, Henry Carrington Alexander, concluded that he read, wrote, and spoke Latin, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese; that he read without helps and wrote Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Greek, Romaic, and Chaldean; that he could read Ethiopic, Dutch, Sanskrit, Syriac, Coptic, Danish, Flemish, and Norwegian; and that he knew enough Polish, Swedish, Malay, Hindustani, and Chinese to peruse works in these languages. The linguistic marvel was also a social recluse who never married and who, despite great interest in travel and world affairs, lived contentedly in Princeton as a student and professor his whole life. ...

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Andrews, Lorrin (29 April 1795–29 September 1868), missionary and educator, was born in East Windsor (now Vernon), Connecticut, the son of Samuel Andrews and his wife, whose name is unknown. Andrews grew up on the frontier in Kentucky and Ohio and later attended Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. After graduation he studied at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, where he graduated in 1825. He worked as a mechanic and printer while in school, and later as a teacher. On 26 April 1827 he volunteered his services to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) and was accepted for work in the Sandwich Islands, as Hawaii was then called. His various job experiences and his life in rough pioneer country where hard work was valued prepared him well for his missionary tasks....

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Barton, George Aaron (12 November 1859–28 June 1942), Assyriologist and biblical scholar, was born in East Farnham, Quebec, Canada, the son of Daniel Barton, a farmer and blacksmith, and Mary Stevens Bull. He attended the Oakwood Seminary, Poughkeepsie, New York, becoming a minister of the Society of Friends in 1879, and graduated from Haverford College with an A.B. in 1882 and an M.A. in 1885. Around 1883 he moved to Boston, where he worked in insurance for a year, then from 1884 to 1889 taught mathematics and classics at the Friends School in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1884 he married Caroline Brewer Danforth; they adopted one child. In 1889 he entered Harvard Graduate School (M.A. 1890), where he studied Assyriology with David G. Lyon and Semitics and the Bible with Crawford H. Toy and Joseph H. Thayer. In 1891 he received his Ph.D. for a study, “The Semitic Ishtar Cult,” later published in the ...

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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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Buck, Carl Darling (02 October 1866–08 February 1955), linguist and educator, was born in Orlando, Maine, the son of Edward Buck and Emeline Darling. Buck’s father was involved in lumbering and shipbuilding. Like his father, Buck attended Yale College, passing the entrance examination before his sixteenth birthday. His undergraduate and graduate studies (interrupted by a year’s stay in Italy and Greece) culminated in 1889 by his receiving the Ph.D.; the title of his thesis was “The Choregia in Athens and at Ikaria,” partly published in the ...

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Crane, Thomas Frederick (12 July 1844–09 December 1927), linguist, scholar, and educator, was born in New York City, the son of Thomas Sexton, a successful merchant, and Charlotte Nuttman. His early life was spent traveling between New York and New Orleans, where his father’s business was based. He had little formal education during these years, but his mother taught him to read. He enjoyed the New Orleans Municipal Library, and his father always brought back books for him when he returned home....

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Friedlaender, Israel (08 September 1876–05 July 1920), professor and Semitics scholar, was born in Włodawa, Poland, the son of Pinḥas Friedlaender, a cattle dealer, and Gittel Ehrlich. He was raised in Praga, a suburb of Warsaw, in comfortable circumstances in a traditional yet enlightened Jewish household. In early childhood Friedlaender acquired an almost verbatim knowledge of the Hebrew Bible as well as of the corpus of rabbinic literature. Studying with a private tutor, he also mastered the German language and its literary classics....

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Hart, James Morgan (02 November 1839–18 April 1916), educator, translator, and writer, was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of John Seely Hart and Amelia Caroline Morford. After spending his childhood in Pennsylvania, he attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), graduating with an A.B. in 1860 and an A.M. in 1863. He also studied abroad in Geneva, Göttingen, and Berlin; he received the degree of Juris Utriusque Doctor (doctor of civil and canon law) from the University of Göttingen in 1864. Hart practiced law in New York City for several years and became an assistant professor of modern languages at Cornell (1868–1872), where he taught southern European languages. He published a number of translations, the most important being his version of Franz Dingelstedt’s ...

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Leonard, Sterling Andrus (23 April 1888–15 May 1931), educator and linguist, was born in National City, California, the son of Cyreno Nathaniel Leonard, a dentist, and Eva Andrus, a teacher. From 1904 to 1907 Leonard attended Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. He received an A.B. from the University of Michigan in 1908, an A.M. from Michigan in 1909, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1928. An assistant in the English department at Michigan while earning his A.M., Leonard held several jobs during the subsequent decade, including positions at the Milwaukee Normal School, the Gymnasium at Danzig, Germany, and the Horace Mann School of Teachers College, Columbia University. In 1913 he married Minnetta Sammis, a graduate of Teachers College, and they had one child....

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Monis, Judah (04 February 1683–25 April 1764), Hebraist and educator, was born to parents of unknown name and origin, although, according to at least one contemporary source, he was born in Italy (probably Venice) and was educated at the Hebrew academies in Leghorn and Amsterdam. Some scholars believe he may have been a member of a Portuguese Marrano family (on the evidence of his name), but his pronunciation of Hebrew—as indicated in the transliterations he used for his students—is “unmistakably that of the Italian Jews of his time” (Moore, p. 288)....

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Payne, William Morton (14 February 1858–11 July 1919), writer, translator, and educator, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the son of Henry Morton Payne, a manufacturer of machinery for cotton mills, and Emma Tilton. In 1868 the Paynes relocated to Chicago, where William continued his primary and secondary schooling and displayed a keen interest in literature. Financial difficulties ruled out further formal education but failed to deter young Payne from avidly pursuing self-education. Payne, who never married, remained in Chicago for the duration of his life and became one of that city’s better-known citizens....

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Reischauer, Edwin Oldfather (15 October 1910–01 September 1990), educator and diplomat, was born in Tokyo, Japan, the son of August Karl Reischauer, a missionary of long residence in Japan, and Helen Sidwell. He lived in Japan until his graduation from the American School in Tokyo in 1927. That year, Reischauer entered Oberlin College, where he earned an A.B. degree, and from there went to Harvard University for graduate study. By the time he entered Harvard, in 1931, he knew that he wanted to become an expert in East Asian studies; in order to receive further specialized training, which was not then available in the United States, he went in 1933 to the University of Paris, where he continued his study of Japanese and Chinese. Two years later he returned to Japan to conduct research for his dissertation. The contrast between the more open, cosmopolitan Japan he remembered from the 1920s and the militaristic and chauvinistic Japan he experienced in the 1930s made a deep impression on Reischauer and provided the point of departure for his thinking about modern Japanese history. For the time being, however, he concentrated on his studies, working on a translation of the diary of Ennin, a ninth-century Buddhist monk who traveled and studied in China. While in Japan, Reischauer married Adrienne Danton, an alumna of Oberlin, in 1935. They were to have three children....

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Roback, A. A. (19 June 1890–05 June 1965), psychologist, educator, and linguist, was born Abraham Aaron Roback in Goniondz, in what is now Poland, the son of Isaac Roback, a tailor, and Leba (maiden name unknown). He was raised in Montreal, Canada, from the age of two. Roback developed an early interest in comparative linguistics, mastering French, Greek, and Latin by the time he was thirteen years old and soon adding German, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Arabic. He attended McGill University, where he earned an A.B. with honors in 1912, winning the Prince of Wales Medal for exceptional scholarship. He received an M.A. from Harvard University in 1913 for a thesis specializing in psychology, having been denied the opportunity to do interdisciplinary work by his professors. Roback spent a year at Princeton as a Traveling Fellow in 1916–1917. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1917; he wrote his dissertation, ...

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Torrey, Charles Cutler (20 December 1863–12 November 1956), biblical scholar and Semitist, was born at East Hardwick, Vermont, son of Joseph Torrey, Jr., a Congregational clergyman, and Maria Thorpe Noble. In 1884 he graduated from Bowdoin College, where in addition to his studies he was a noted baseball and tennis player. He taught for a year at the Auburn (Maine) High School, then returned to Bowdoin in 1885 as a tutor in Latin, earning an M.A. in 1887. He then entered Andover Theological Seminary where he studied Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic with the Semitist and biblical scholar ...

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Wiener, Leo (28 July 1862–12 December 1939), philologist, translator, and educator, was born in Bialystok, Russia (now part of Poland), the son of Salomon Wiener, a scholar and teacher, and Frederika Rabinowitch, who was descended from a distinguished rabbinic family. Wiener grew up in a multilingual environment congenial to his stunning linguistic abilities. Although Wiener had a French governess, his father insisted that German be spoken at home. Hebrew was cultivated as the traditional language of prayer, study, and Jewish intellectual discourse, while Yiddish, Russian, and Polish were the vernaculars most commonly used in Bialystok....

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Willett, Herbert Lockwood (05 May 1864–28 March 1944), clergyman, orator, and biblical scholar, was born near Ionia, Michigan, the son of Gordon Arthur Willett, a farm machinery merchant, and Mary Elizabeth Yates, a schoolteacher serving as a nurse in the Union army. Formative in his choice of vocation were the memberships of both the Willett and Yates families in a Disciples of Christ congregation founded in the 1850s by evangelist Isaac Errett. Willett never attended public school. He studied under his mother’s tutelage, memorizing large portions of the Bible and poetry, an accomplishment that later lent distinction to his public and academic addresses. In 1883 his Disciples heritage prompted him to attend Bethany College in West Virginia, the school founded by the denominational leader ...