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Benedict, Francis Gano (03 October 1870–14 May 1957), chemist and physiologist, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Washington Gano Benedict, a businessman, and Harriet Emily Barrett. In about 1878 the family moved to Orange Park, Florida, and in 1881 to Boston, Massachusetts, where Benedict attended public schools and took piano lessons because of his parents’ interest in music....

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Brödel, Paul Heinrich Max (18 June 1870–26 October 1941), medical illustrator and anatomist, was born in Leipzig, Germany, the son of Paul Heinrich Louis Brödel, an employee of the Steinweg piano works, and Christiane Henriette Frenzel. As a child, Max Brödel showed talent in both music and the visual arts, and at age fifteen he enrolled in the Königliche Kunstakademie und Kunstgewerkeschule zu Leipzig. Required by the Leipzig art school to learn at least one graphic technique, Brödel always acknowledged the importance of his training in lithography. In 1888, he began working part-time as an illustrator for the renowned physiologist Carl Ludwig. At the time, the Leipzig medical school drew physicians and investigators from around the world for advanced training and research opportunities, and, while working for Ludwig, Brödel met the American anatomist ...

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Corner, George Washington (12 December 1889–28 September 1981), anatomist, endocrinologist, and medical historian, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of George Washington Corner II, a merchant, and Florence Evans. He attended the Boys Latin School, from which he graduated with honors in six subjects, and entered the Johns Hopkins University in 1906. His original intention was to study languages. Within a year, however, he discovered he was more inclined to biological studies. In 1909 he graduated with an A.B. and entered the Johns Hopkins Medical School. Corner’s years at Johns Hopkins were those of the great founders, ...

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Fulton, John Farquhar (01 November 1899–29 May 1960), neurophysiologist and medical historian, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, son of John Farquhar Fulton, a physician, and Edith Stanley Wheaton. After spending the 1917–1918 academic year at the University of Minnesota, Fulton entered Harvard University, from which he received a B.S., magna cum laude, in 1921. As a recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship, Fulton attended Magdalen College at Oxford University for two years, followed by an additional two years at Oxford as a Christopher Welch Scholar and demonstrator in physiology. He received a B.A. from Oxford with first-class honors in 1923, and an M.A. and D.Phil. in 1925. Returning to the United States, he studied medicine at Harvard, receiving his M.D., again magna cum laude, in 1927. He married Lucia Pickering Wheatland, of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1923; they had no children....

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Paul Beck Goddard. Engraving by John Sartain. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B012918).

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Goddard, Paul Beck (26 January 1811–03 July 1866), pioneer in photography, physician, and anatomist, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of John Goddard and Mary Beck. He received an A.B. from Washington (later Trinity) College in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1828. The same year he entered the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania, where in 1832 he completed his M.D. with a thesis titled “The Anatomy and Physiology of Mucous Membrane.” Goddard did not find the day-to-day practice of being a physician in Philadelphia particularly satisfying. After a few years in private practice, he became the assistant to ...

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Godman, John Davidson (20 December 1794–17 April 1830), anatomist and naturalist, was born in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of Samuel Godman and Anna Henderson. His mother died when he was two years old, and he was sent to Wilmington, Delaware, to live with an aunt who in 1798 moved with him to Chestertown, Maryland. She died in 1800, the year after his father died, and he was sent to Baltimore, Maryland, to live with a sister. In 1811 he became a printer’s apprentice, a position that was intellectually stifling and physically debilitating; within a year he contracted a tubercular infection that plagued him for the rest of his life. Perhaps as a result of this infection and the drudgery of his situation, he developed an interest in medicine and spent as much time as he could in the office of a local Baltimore physician. There he met William N. Luckey, a medical student at the University of Maryland, who inspired him to study chemistry in order to prepare for a medical career....

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Richard Harlan. Engraving after a painting by Jacob Eichholtz. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B013872).

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Harlan, Richard (19 September 1796–30 September 1843), physician, anatomist, and paleontologist, was born in Philadelphia, the son of Joshua Harlan, a farmer and merchant, and Sarah Hinchman. Harlan attended schools in Philadelphia, and then entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied and worked under ...

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Hecht, Selig (08 February 1892–18 September 1947), physiologist and biophysicist, was born in the village of Glogow, in what was then Austrian Poland, the son of Mandel Hecht and Mary Mresse. His family emigrated in 1898, settling in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where Mandel Hecht worked as a foreman in the men’s clothing industry. Selig attended both local public schools and Hebrew school, also studying Hebrew at home under his father’s tutelage. He worked as a bookkeeper throughout his high school and college years to help support himself....

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Henderson, Lawrence Joseph (03 June 1878–10 February 1942), biochemist and physiologist, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Henderson, a businessman, and Mary Bosworth. Henderson attended high school in Salem, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard University in 1898. He received his medical degree from the Harvard Medical School in 1902 and then spent two postdoctoral years in Strassburg in the laboratory of Franz Hofmeister, a pioneer in the application of physical chemistry to biochemistry. Upon returning to the United States in 1904, Henderson joined the Harvard faculty as a lecturer in biological chemistry. He also carried out research in the laboratory of the chemist ...

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Leidy, Joseph (09 September 1823–30 April 1891), comparative anatomist, paleontologist, and microscopist, was born Joseph Mellick Leidy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Philip Leidy, a hatter, and Catherine Mellick, who died twenty months later in childbirth. Soon thereafter, Leidy’s father married Christiana Taliana Mellick, Catherine’s first cousin, a determined, intelligent woman who raised Leidy. German was spoken in the Leidy (Leydig) home. As a young boy, Joseph developed an intense interest in plants, animals, and minerals, and he showed an unusual talent for drawing. He was an indifferent student at a private, classical school, spending most of his time following his interest in nature, exploring the creeks and parks of Philadelphia....

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Lillie, Frank Rattray (27 June 1870–05 November 1947), scientist, was born in Toronto, Canada, son of accountant George Waddell Lillie and Emily Ann Rattray. Both Lillie’s grandfathers were clergymen, and his family expected him to follow in their footsteps. Instead, upon entering the University of Toronto in 1887, Lillie majored in the natural sciences. His interest in biology, especially embryology and physiological perspectives, blossomed under faculty members R. Ramsay Wright and A. B. Macallum. Lillie received his A.B. in 1891 and immediately left to attend his first summer session at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Massachusetts. He spent the next fifty-five summers at the MBL....

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Lusk, Graham (15 February 1866–18 July 1932), physiologist and biochemist, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of William Thompson Lusk, an obstetrician, and Mary Hartwell Chittenden. Having impaired hearing, young Lusk followed his father’s advice not to become a physician and instead studied chemistry at the Columbia School of Mines in New York, graduating with a Ph.B. in 1887. To study the biological sciences, Lusk traveled to Europe; in the next few years he worked first in Leipzig under the famous physiologist Carl Ludwig and then in Munich under the physiological chemist Carl Voit. In 1891 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Munich and returned to America full of enthusiasm for the Voit-Rubner doctrines in nutrition, which held that the energy derived from the metabolism of the three groups of foodstuffs—carbohydrate, fat, and protein—was exchangeable in the body in accordance with caloric equivalence. Voit and Rubner also stated that the metabolic rate was related to the body surface area of the individual....

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McKinney, Roscoe Lewis (08 February 1900–30 September 1978), educator and anatomist, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Lewis Bradner McKinney, an employee of the U.S. Printing Office, and Blanche Elaine Hunt. McKinney attended Dunbar High School, the all-black grammar school on M Street in Washington. Dunbar’s faculty, comprised of highly motivated African-American scholars, inspired generations of black youth to strive for academic excellence. McKinney himself recalled the atmosphere of “hopeful purpose and tremendous encouragement” that pervaded the school....

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Miller, William Snow (29 March 1858–26 December 1939), anatomist and medical historian, was born in Sterling, Massachusetts, the son of William Miller, a Congregational minister, and Harriet Emily Snow. He was schooled at home in the classics and later attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The family’s financial problems prevented him from attending college. Instead, in 1877 he began a preceptorship with a physician, C. H. Hubbard of Essex, Connecticut, primarily studying anatomy by dissecting animals. His high score on a competitive test secured his medical school tuition, and he entered Yale Medical School, where he received his medical degree in 1879. He married Carrie M. Bradley of Clinton, Connecticut, in 1881. She died in 1901, and in 1912 he married Alice L. Burdick of Madison, Wisconsin. He had no children from either marriage....

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O’Leary, James Lee (08 December 1904–25 May 1975), pioneer in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, was born in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, the son of James O’Leary, an engineer turned lawyer, and Mary Whalen. Shortly after O’Leary was born, his mother developed a lung infection, and the family had to move to a drier climate. He grew up in San Antonio, Texas. O’Leary’s father died when the boy was eleven, and his mother began a real estate business to provide for her children. O’Leary did quite well in school and at the age of sixteen entered the University of Chicago. In 1925 he received his bachelor’s degree, and under the influence of Robert R. Bensley of the department of anatomy, he was drawn toward research. With Bensley’s assistance, he received a scholarship to study anatomy and entered the doctoral program at Chicago, remaining in the laboratories of Bensley. Other influential professors at Chicago included ...

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Robbins, William Jacob (22 February 1890–05 October 1978), botanist, physiologist, and institution director, was born in North Platte, Nebraska, the son of Frederick Woods Robbins, a schoolteacher and administrator, and Clara Jeanette Federhof, a journalist. When he was two, his family moved to Muncy, Pennsylvania. Robbins graduated from high school in 1906 and then attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1910 with Phi Beta Kappa honors. After teaching at Lehigh and at the Mining and Mechanical Institute at Freeland, Pennsylvania, for one year, he entered graduate school at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Originally Robbins planned to train as a plant pathologist and a scientific farmer, but he changed the focus of his studies to plant physiology. He worked as an instructor at Cornell from 1912 to 1916; he earned his doctorate there in 1915. On 15 July 1915, Robbins married Christine Faye Chapman, a botanist who later became a scientific biographer. They had three sons, one of whom, Frederick Robbins, won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1954....

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Spitzka, Edward Anthony (17 June 1876–04 September 1922), anatomist and brain morphologist, was born in New York City, the only child of Edward Charles Spitzka, a neurologist, and Catherine Wacek. He received his early education in the public schools and, like his father, attended the College of the City of New York, from which he graduated in 1898. After college, Spitzka entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and, on his graduation, with an M.D. in 1902, received the Harsen Clinical Prize and a fellowship in anatomy....

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Stockard, Charles Rupert (27 February 1879–07 April 1939), biologist and anatomist, was born in Stoneville, Mississippi, the son of Richard Rupert Stockard, a physician, and Ella Hyde Fowlkes. Stockard received a B.S. in 1899 from the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College, at which he had served as a commandant and acting professor of military science and tactics for the last two years of his undergraduate education. In 1901 he received a medical degree from the same institution. Following graduation, Stockard taught military science at Jefferson Military College in Natchez, Mississippi, until 1903, after which he began graduate work in zoology at Columbia University under ...