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Luther Gulick. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-91615).

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Gulick, Luther Halsey (04 December 1865–13 August 1918), physical educator and sports administrator, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of Luther Halsey Gulick and Louisa Lewis, missionaries. His father’s supervisory work for Presbyterian missions took Gulick as a child to Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and Japan as well as to Hawaii. In each place he stored up experiences that compensated for uneven schooling. His higher education, too, was irregular. From 1880 to 1885 he studied in a college preparatory program at Oberlin College, interrupted for a year by his parents’ furlough; in 1886 he briefly attended the Sargent Normal School of Physical Training in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before enrolling as a part-time student in New York University’s school of medicine. He paid his way at NYU by engaging in an unlikely array of activities: providing medical services to a YMCA branch, teaching in a Harlem school, serving as physical director of the YMCA in Jackson, Michigan, and organizing the physical education department at the new YMCA training school in Springfield, Massachusetts....