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Abell, George Ogden (01 March 1927–07 October 1983), astronomer and educator, was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Theodore Curtis Abell, a Unitarian minister, and Annamarie Ogden. His marriage to Lois Everson in 1951, which produced two sons, ended in divorce in 1970; in 1972 he married Phyllis Fox....

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Adams, Charles Baker (11 January 1814–18 January 1853), naturalist and educator, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the son of Charles J. Adams, a Boston merchant, and Hannah Baker. At an early age Adams showed great interest and ability in natural history and chemistry. His parents encouraged him by setting aside a room for his rocks and fossils and the apparatus he used for chemistry experiments. He began his formal education at Boston schools and then attended Phillips Academy in Andover before entering Yale College in 1830. After a year at Yale he transferred to Amherst College, where he flourished, graduating in 1834 with highest honors. He entered the Theological Seminary at Andover with the intention of preparing for the ministry, but he left in 1836 to assist professor ...

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Adams, Comfort Avery (01 November 1868–21 February 1958), engineering professor and consulting engineer, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Comfort Avery Adams and Katherine Emily Peticolas. Although the family experienced stringent financial circumstances during Adams’s youth, he entered Case Institute of Applied Science (now part of Case Western Reserve University) after attending public schools in Cleveland. At Case he was laboratory assistant to a young physicist, ...

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Angell, James Rowland (08 May 1869–04 March 1949), academic psychologist and fourteenth president of Yale University, was born in Burlington, Vermont, the son of James Burrill Angell, president of the University of Vermont and later the president of the University of Michigan, and Sarah Swope Caswell, daughter of ...

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Anslow, Gladys Amelia (22 May 1892–31 March 1969), physicist, educator, and spectroscopist, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, the daughter of John Anslow, a textile colorist, lay preacher, and insurance agent, and Ella Iola Leonard, an art and music teacher. In 1909 she entered Smith College in nearby Northampton. Her first science course there was Frank Waterman’s sophomore physics, which she found thrilling. In her junior year she took laboratory physics, using Waterman’s text, and in her senior year she took courses in mechanics, electricity, and magnetism from Waterman....

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Alexander Dallas Bache. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-18181).

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Bache, Alexander Dallas (19 July 1806–17 February 1867), scientist and educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Richard Bache, a postmaster, and Sophia Dallas. An elite family history supported Bache’s upbringing. He was the great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin and was related to a number of influential men, including his uncle ...

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Bailar, John Christian, Jr. (27 May 1904–17 October 1991), chemist and educator, was born in Golden, Colorado, the son of John Christian Bailar, an instructor in chemistry at the Colorado School of Mines at Golden, and Rachel Ella Work. His parents were the first married couple to enroll at and graduate from the University of Colorado. His father was a great raconteur, a trait that the son would share. Bailar often accompanied his father to his office-laboratory, where he acquired much chemical knowledge by performing simple laboratory operations, such as folding filter paper and pouring solutions through funnels....

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Bailey, Jacob Whitman (29 April 1811–27 February 1857), naturalist and educator, was born in Ward (now Auburn), Massachusetts, the son of Rev. Isaac Bailey and Jane Whitman. From an early age Bailey was an avid collector and classifier of natural history specimens. Because his family was of modest means, Bailey’s formal schooling ended at age twelve, but employment with a bookseller and circulating library in Providence, Rhode Island, permitted him to continue studies on his own. His scholarly habits earned him the patronage of John Kingsbury, secretary of Brown University, with whom he studied Latin. By 1828 he was able to enter West Point, graduating fifth in his class in 1832 and receiving a commission as second lieutenant of artillery in 1833....

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Barbour, George Brown (22 August 1890–12 July 1977), geologist and educator, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Dr. Alexander Hugh Freeland Barbour (at one time president of the Royal College of Surgeons) and Margaret Nelson Brown. Barbour received his preparatory school education at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh. In 1904–1905 he studied organ at Marburg University in Germany and in 1911 received an M.S. with honors in classics at Edinburgh. During a visit to China on his postgraduate trip around the world, Barbour experienced the turmoil surrounding the fall of the Manchu dynasty and was inspired to become a missionary in China. In 1914 he entered St. John’s College, Cambridge, to complete a second M.S. that would qualify him in science and prepare him to contribute to the modernization and advancement of Chinese society....

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Bascom, Florence (14 July 1862–18 June 1945), geologist and educator, was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, the daughter of suffragist Emma Curtiss and John Bascom, a professor at Williams College. Her mother, as an officer of the National Suffrage Association wrote, “While the ballot is withheld from women and given to all other classes of citizens except idiots and criminals, it puts on womanhood an inescapable badge, and an inescapable fact, of inferiority” (quoted in Smith, p. 17). Her father advocated for coeducation and unsuccessfully raised the issue at Williams. Both parents profoundly affected the way Florence Bascom saw the world. She became the first woman in the United States to enter fully the profession of geology....

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Bates, Marston (23 July 1906–03 April 1974), naturalist and educator, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Glen F. Bates, a farmer and horticulturist, and Amy Mabel Button. In 1916 his father moved the family to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where young Bates was reared. An only child in a rather isolated environment, he developed an interest in insects (he collected butterflies) and an ambition to visit the tropics. He earned a B.S. in biology at the University of Florida in 1927....

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Beach, Frank Ambrose, Jr. (13 April 1911–15 June 1988), psychologist and educator, was born in Emporia, Kansas, the son of Frank Ambrose Beach, professor of music, and Bertha Robinson. He received a B.S. in education in 1932 from the Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, where his father taught. Although he had already developed an interest in psychology, he planned to be a high school English teacher. Because of the depression, however, Beach was unable to find a job and so continued in school at Emporia, receiving an M.S. in psychology in 1933. His thesis project was a search for color vision in rats....

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Berry, Edward Wilber (10 February 1875–20 September 1945), paleobotanist, teacher, and university administrator, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Abijah Conger Berry and Anna Wilber. Berry is a classic example of the self-trained scientist. He received elementary courses in biology and botany in high school that roused his interest in nature. Berry completed the three-year course in two years and finished his formal education at thirteen. From 1890 to 1897 he worked for a cotton goods company, rising from stock boy to traveling salesman. Berry then entered the newspaper world as business manager for the ...

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Bode, Hendrik Wade (24 December 1905–02 June 1982), research engineer and educator, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Boyd Henry Bode and Bernice Ballard. Bode attended Ohio State University, receiving a B.A. in 1924 and an M.A. in 1926. In 1935 he earned a Ph.D. in physics at Columbia University and was elected a member at Phi Beta Kappa. He started work as an assistant professor of mathematics at Ohio State (1925–1926). He moved in 1926 to Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he remained until 1967. While at Bell Labs he worked on the technical staff, researching electrical network theory. He served as a research mathematician (1944–1952), director of mathematical research (1952–1955), director of research, physical sciences (1955–1958), and vice president of military systems engineering (1958–1967). In 1967 he left Bell Labs to go to Harvard University as Gordon McKay Professor of Systems Engineering, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1974, when he was made emeritus professor....

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Bouchet, Edward Alexander (15 September 1852–28 October 1918), educator and scientist, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of William Francis Bouchet, a janitor, and Susan Cooley. Part of New Haven’s black community that provided much of the city’s unskilled and domestic labor, the Bouchets were members of the Temple Street Congregational Church, which was a stopping point for fugitive slaves along the Underground Railroad, and both Edward and his father were active in church affairs. During the 1850s and 1860s New Haven had only three schools that black children could attend. Edward was enrolled in the Artisan Street Colored School, a small (only thirty seats), ungraded school with one teacher, Sarah Wilson, who played a crucial role in nurturing Bouchet’s academic abilities and his desire to learn....

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Brown, Harrison Scott (26 September 1917–08 December 1986), geochemist and specialist in international relations, was born in Sheridan, Wyoming, the son of Harrison H. Brown, a rancher and cattle broker, and Agnes Scott, a music teacher. After his father’s death, when Brown was ten, he moved with his mother to San Francisco, California. A precocious student with a talent for music and the sciences, Brown is credited with building his own chemistry laboratory while attending Galileo High School. He then attended the University of California at Berkeley, earning a B.A. in physics in 1938....

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Buchanan, Herbert Earle (04 October 1881–17 January 1974), mathematician, astronomer, and educator, was born in Cane Hill, Arkansas, the son of James A. Buchanan, farmer, surveyor, and Presbyterian minister, and Susan Clark Williamson. Until he was fourteen, he was educated at home and in a local “subscription” school (in other words, several families got up a “subscription” to hire a teacher for several months of the year). Then he moved to Fayetteville to attend the University of Arkansas’s Preparatory School. There Buchanan discovered his love and talent for mathematics. However, lack of money eventually sent him back to the family farm for more than a year before he was able to finish the preparatory school and enter the university in 1898. He took an A.B. with honors in mathematics in 1902. During his senior year the sudden death of one of his professors gave Buchanan the opportunity to teach mathematics, launching a career that spanned fifty-two years of service....

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Cain, Stanley Adair (19 June 1902–01 April 1995), educator, botanist, and ecologist, was born in Jefferson County, Indiana, the son of Oliver Ezra Cain and Lillian Whitsitt, farmers. He received his B.A. degree from Butler University in 1924, his M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1927, and his Ph.D. in botany from Chicago in 1930....

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Caldwell, Joseph (21 April 1773–27 January 1835), astronomer, mathematician, and educator, was born in Lamington, New Jersey, the son of Joseph Caldwell and Rachel Harker. The death of her husband just two days before Joseph’s birth left Rachel Caldwell nearly destitute. In 1784 she moved the family to Princeton, where the court ordered eleven-year-old Joseph to be bound out to a printer. His mother immediately took steps to place him in a local grammar school; her intervention brought Joseph under the guidance of the eminent ...