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James Bryant Conant. Photography by Louis Fabian Bachrach. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-98700).

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Conant, James Bryant (26 March 1893–11 February 1978), educator and scientist, was born in the Dorchester section of Boston, Massachusetts, the son of James Scott Conant, a photo engraver and real estate developer, and Jennett Orr. Conant attended the Roxbury Latin School, a public boys’ six-year examination school in Boston, and subsequently attended graduate school at Harvard University on an academic scholarship, where he studied chemistry with Nobel Prize winner ...

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Cope, Arthur Clay (27 June 1909–04 June 1966), chemistry professor and administrator, was born in Dunreith, Indiana, the son of Everett C. Cope and Jennie Compton, grain storage operators. Cope received the bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1929 from Butler University in Indianapolis. He then worked with ...

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Gross, Paul Magnus (15 September 1895–04 May 1986), physical chemist and university administrator, was born in New York City, the son of Magnus Gross, an educator and city official, and Ellen Sullivan. He received a bachelor of science degree from City College of New York in 1916 and earned a master’s degree and a doctorate from Columbia University in 1917 and 1919. Gladys Cobb Petersen, a Hunter College drama student, became his wife in 1918; they had two children....

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Porter, John Addison (15 March 1822–25 August 1866), chemist, professor, and university administrator, was born in Catskill, New York, the son of Addison Porter, a merchant, and Ann Hogeboom. His family moved to New York City in 1831 and to Philadelphia in 1836. After attending the Kinderhook, New York, academy, Porter had private instruction in Philadelphia until 1838, when he enrolled at Yale College. A somewhat erratic student—inclined to fail in assignments that were considered easy but brilliant at mathematics and a voracious reader of poetry and fiction—he studied metaphysics and read Kant in translation during his senior year. Hoping to become a Presbyterian minister, as his paternal grandfather had been, he was frustrated by a “persistent skepticism” that he considered the “great calamity” of his undergraduate years. It troubled him until 1860, when he joined St. John’s Episcopal Church of New Haven, Connecticut. Graduating from Yale in 1842 and still hoping to be called to the ministry, he studied Hebrew and modern languages at his parents’ home in Philadelphia, returned to New Haven for a sample of theological study, and then accepted a new vocation....