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Fiske, John (30 March 1842–04 July 1901), historian and popularizer of evolutionary science, was born Edmund Fisk Green in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Edmund Brewster Green, a lawyer and Whig journalist, and Mary Fisk Bound. When his father’s political journalism proved financially unsuccessful, his parents sent the one-year-old child to live with his grandmother Polly Fisk Bound and great-grandfather John Fisk in Middletown, Connecticut. In 1855, after the death of his father and his mother’s remarriage to Edwin Wallace Stoughton, a successful lawyer and later U.S. minister to Russia, he agreed to his grandmother’s request that he legally adopt her father’s name since he was the only male descendant of his great-grandfather (he added the “e” to his name in 1860)....

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Kirk, Russell Amos (19 October 1918–29 April 1994), political theorist, conservative writer, and lecturer, was born in Plymouth, Michigan, to Russell Andrew Kirk, a railroad engineer, and Marjorie Pierce Kirk. In his youth Russell spent a good deal of time conversing with his grandfather Frank Pierce, who stimulated his interest in better understanding the world around him. Equally influential to Russell’s intellectual development were his annual summer visits to his mother’s relatives in Mecosta, a small village in central Michigan. Dwelling on the lives of his ancestors, whose portraits donned the walls of his great-grandmother’s home, Russell developed an interest in history, especially connections between the past and the present....