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Urey, Harold Claytonlocked

(29 April 1893–05 January 1981)
  • Albert B. Costa


Urey, Harold Clayton (29 April 1893–05 January 1981), physical chemist and planetary scientist, was born in Walkerton, Indiana, the son of Samuel Clayton Urey, a minister, and Cora Rebecca Reinoehl. After his father died in 1899, his mother married another Church of the Brethren minister. Urey lacked the financial means to continue his education beyond his 1911 high school graduation and taught for the next three years in rural schools. After the family moved to Montana, he entered Montana State College in Missoula (now the University of Montana), supporting himself by working in dormitories and in the summers on railroad gangs. In 1917 he received a bachelor of science degree in zoology with a chemistry minor. Deeply influenced by the pacificism of the Church of the Brethren, he nevertheless acknowledged a duty to aid his country in World War I, serving as a chemist with the Bartlett Chemical Company in Philadelphia. In 1919 he returned to Montana State as an instructor in chemistry. In 1921 he accepted a fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley. Guided by ...

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