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Born in Texas in 1903; influence of remote, rural environment on his upbringing and early education. Attended Weatherford Junior College until 1923; studies at University of Chicago, B.A. in 1926, M.A. in 1928, and Ph.D. (formally awarded) in 1937. Comments on courses, teachers and fellow students at Chicago, including J. Harlan Bretz and Rollin T. Chamberlin. Summer research at Amerada Petroleum Corporation (Oklahoma), Illinois State Geological Survey, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), late 1920s to early 1930s.
Early life and family origins; Phillips Andover Academy; teachers; Andover and Max Millikan; early interest in astronomy; methodology of science; undergraduate years at Yale University; hobbies, teachers at Yale; physics and Alan Waterman; interest in particle accelerator; extracurricular study group at Yale; interest in economics; Henry Fellowship at University of Cambridge; concentration in theoretical physics; studies with Arthur Eddington.