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Cobb, William Montague (12 October 1904–20 November 1990), physical anthropologist and anatomist, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of William Elmer Cobb, a printer, and Alexzine Montague. Experiencing racial segregation in education, he graduated in 1921 from Dunbar High School, an elite college-preparatory school for African Americans. Cobb attended Amherst College, where he pursued a classical education in arts and sciences, graduating in 1925. After graduation he received a Blodgett Scholarship to study biology at Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory in Massachusetts. There he met Howard University biologist ...

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William Howell Masters 12 Feb. 1971. Courtesy of AP Images.

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Masters, William Howell (27 December 1915–16 February 2001), physician, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Francis W. Masters and Estabrooks Taylor Masters. Details of his family background are unknown beyond the fact that Masters grew up in comfortable financial circumstances. Young Masters attended school in Kansas City, Missouri. At fourteen he was sent to board at Lawrenceville, a noted preparatory school in New Jersey. Upon graduation he entered Hamilton College in the fall of 1934. Masters was an excellent student, specializing in science; he was also a skilled debater and a proficient and versatile athlete, active on varsity teams in football, baseball, basketball, and track. After receiving a B.S. degree with honors in 1938, Masters enrolled at the University of Rochester Medical School. In his first year he came under the influence of his anatomy professor, ...

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Todd, Thomas Wingate (15 January 1885–28 December 1938), anatomist and physical anthropologist, was born in Sheffield, England, the son of the Reverend James Todd, a Methodist minister, and Katherine Wingate. Todd graduated from Owens College of the Victoria University of Manchester in 1907 with the highest honors, receiving the degrees of Ch.B. (bachelor of surgery) and M.B. (bachelor of medicine, corresponding to the American M.D.)....

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Willier, Benjamin Harrison (02 November 1890–03 December 1972), embryologist and educator, was born near Weston, Wood County, Ohio, the son of David Willier, a farmer and banker, and Mary Alice Rickard. His childhood and early experiences were those of a country boy in the fundamentalist society of mid-America. He entered the College of Wooster in Ohio in 1912 and graduated with highest honors in biology in 1915. He taught biology for one year at Wooster before beginning graduate research in the Department of Zoology at the University of Chicago in 1916. His academic work was interrupted in 1918 by a brief period of military service in Washington, D.C. He returned to Chicago in 1919 and married Helen Beatrice Shipman, a teacher and his former college biology laboratory partner; they had two children. He completed his graduate research at the university under the direction of zoologist ...

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Wyman, Jeffries (11 August 1814–04 September 1874), comparative anatomist, naturalist, and anthropologist, was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, the son of Rufus Wyman, a physician, and Ann Morrill. He was named after the Boston physician James Jeffries, preceptor in medicine to Wyman’s father. Wyman’s family moved to Somerville, Massachusetts, when his father, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, was appointed physician of the McLean Asylum for the Insane. Wyman exhibited a childhood interest in dissection and sketching, two skills in which he later excelled....