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Cushing, Harvey Williams (08 April 1869–07 October 1939), neurosurgeon, medical historian, and bibliophile, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in the Western Reserve of Connecticut, the son of Henry Kirke Cushing, a physician, and Betsey Maria Williams. In addition to his father, Cushing’s paternal grandfather, great grandfather, and great-great grandfather were all physicians in general practice. Cushing’s childhood was a happy and full one with strong parental role models. He found opportunities at home to consort, through books, with the world of ideas, and to explore history. His early education was in the public schools of Cleveland and from his mother, who taught him French and introduced him to general literature and poetry. In 1887 Cushing entered Yale University, where he spent four happy years, achieving election to Scroll and Key (a matter of considerable importance to him) and securing the short-stop position on the Yale freshman baseball team and, later, membership on the varsity nine....

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Dandy, Walter Edward (06 April 1886–19 April 1946), physician and neurosurgeon, was born in Sedalia, Missouri, the son of John Dandy, a railroad engineer, and Rachel Kilpatrick. Dandy was raised in a fundamentalist sect, the Plymouth Brethren; as an adult he would give up these religious views as too strict. Dandy graduated as valedictorian of his high school class at the age of seventeen and went on to attend the University of Missouri at Columbia, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, the national scientific honorary society, and graduated in 1907 as one of the “First Five.”...

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Elsberg, Charles Albert (24 August 1871–18 March 1948), neurosurgeon, was born in New York City, the son of Albert Elsberg, a merchant, and Rebecca Moses. He grew up in New York and received an A.B. in 1890 from the City College of New York, the institution that later honored him in 1935 with the Townsend Harris Medal. When Elsberg received his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1893, he won the Harsen Clinical Medal. After an internship at Mount Sinai Hospital, he studied in Breslau in 1895 and 1896 with the renowned surgeon Johann von Mikulicz-Radecki....

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Charles Harrison Frazier. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Frazier, Charles Harrison (19 April 1870–26 July 1936), neurosurgeon, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William W. Frazier, a prominent businessman, and Harriet Morgan Harrison. After graduating from the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia in 1886, Charles Frazier began a long association with the University of Pennsylvania. He received an A.B. in 1889, an M.D. in 1892, and an Sc.D. in 1925. He was elected a trustee of the university in 1934....

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Penfield, Wilder Graves (26 January 1891–05 April 1976), neurosurgeon and neurophysiologist, was born in Spokane, Washington, the son of Charles Samuel Penfield, a physician and hunter, and Jean Jefferson, a teacher. Because of his father’s financial problems, in 1899 Penfield’s mother took the children to live with her parents in Hudson, Wisconsin, so the children could receive a good education in the local schools. While in Hudson, Mrs. Penfield founded the Galahad School and was the primary teacher. Following graduation, Penfield continued his education at Princeton University, with financial assistance from his grandfather. In 1913 he graduated with a Bachelor of Literature degree....