Selman Abraham Waksman
Microbiologist. He was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize in
physiology and medicine for his discover of the antibiotic streptomycin in 1943. Waksman
helped found the Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University in 1949 from royalties
from the sale of streptomycin. Born in Russia. Came to the U.S. at the age of 22. Became a
U.S. citizen in 1916 and received his Ph.D. degree in 1918 from the University of
California. His books include "My Life with the Microbes.
Bruno Walter (1876-1962)
One of the great conductors of his time. He became especially
known for his interpretations of Mozart. Born in Berlin, Germany. Nazi Germanys
anti-Semitism forced Walter to resign as conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in
1933 and as conductor of the Vienna State Opera in 1938. He came to the U.S. in 1939 and
was a conductor of the Metropolitan Opera. He became a citizen in 1946.
Kurt Weill (1900-1950)
noted for his short, informal operas and and also for his musical comedies portraying contemporary life.
Among his popular hits are "September Song" (from Knickerbocker Holiday) and
"Mack the Knife" (from The Three-Penny Opera). His collaborations with
playwright Bertold Brecht resulted into two satiric operettas, "The Threepenny
Opera" and "The Rise and Fall of the City of Mohagonny." Born in Dessau,
Weills works were banned in Nazi Germany, and in 1935 he
settled in the United States. He turned out several successful Broadway shows, including including
Knickerbocker Holiday (1938) and Lost in the Stars (1949) with Maxwell Anderson and One
Touch of Venus (1943) with Ogden Nash. He also wrote instrumental works, including two
symphonies. Weill's wife, the singer Lotte Lenya (1900-81), performed in many of his
Ruth WestheimerBorn in Germany in 1928, Westheimer, at
the age of ten, was sent to a school in Switzerland which became an
orphanage for most of the German Jewish students who had been sent there to
escape the Holocaust.. At 16 she went to Israel where she fought for that
country as a member of the Haganah. She immigrated to the United States i n
1956. In 1970 she received a Doctorate of Education in the Interdisciplinary
Study of the Family from Columbia University.
That notwithstanding, Dr. Ruth attained fame as a
psycholsexual therapist who helped pioneer the field of media psychology on
her radio program, Sexually Speaking.
Eugene Paul Wigner
Physicist who received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1963 for his
contributions to nuclear and theoretical physics, especially his research in the structure
of the atomic nucleus. Born in Budapest, Hungary. He came to the U.S. in 1930 and became a
citizen in 1937. During World War II he was assigned to the plutonium project at the
University of Chicago.
Naturalist who painted and wrote about birds. He is often called
the "father of American ornithology." William filled nine volumes of bird
descriptions in his "American Ornithology." Born in Paisley, Scotland. For
several years he was weaver and wrote poetry. He traveled as a peddler. Then, in 1794,
Wilson sailed to the U.S., where he taught rural schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
There he became interested in birdlife.
Statesman and jurist. He signed both the Declaration of
Independence and the U.S. Constitution for Pennsylvania. Born in Scotland. Came to the
American Colonies in 1765 to practice law. As one of the leaders of the Constitutional
Convention of 1787, Wilson argued that supreme political power belongs to the people. He
was an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1789-98. The Pennsylvania constitution
of 1790 was mainly written by Wilson.
Clergyman and political leader. He was a signer of the
Declaration of Independence. Born in Scotland. From 1768 until his death, Witherspoon was
president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). He was a member of the
Continental Congress. He also helped to organize a national Presbyterian Church in U.S.
"Oh the shark has pretty teeth, dear,
And he shows them pearly whites.
Just a jacknife
has met Macheath, dear,
And he keeps it out of sight.
From Kurt Weill's
"Mack the Knife"