Carl Djerassi dies

by reestheskin on 02/02/2015

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Well his father was a dermatologist, and he held the first patent on an antihistamine, but I knew neither of these facts before reading this obituary of the great Carl Djerassi.

Dr. Djerassi (pronounced jer-AH-see) arrived in America as World War II engulfed Europe, a 16-year-old Austrian Jewish refugee who, with his mother, lost their last $20 to a swindling New York cabdriver. He wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, asking for assistance, and obtained a college scholarship. It was a little help that made a big difference.

 

I think it was Jacob Bronowski who said that most of twentieth century physics was made by the sons of cobblers, but just note the phrase: he wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, asking for assistance, and obtained a college scholarship. If you haven’t read any of his fiction, you are missing something. (and I assume it wasn’t an Uber cab).

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