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Published August 1, 1998 | Published
Journal Article Open

T. H. Morgan at Caltech: A Reminiscence


At the urging of Professor G. M. McKinley, who taught genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, I applied for graduate school at Caltech, was accepted, and arrived in Pasadena for the opening of the fall term of 1936. It would never have occurred to me to go to a school so far away—3 days by train, in distant California—had it not been for Dr. McKinley, but this was only the first of a series of lucky choices that formed my career. On arriving at the Caltech campus and locating the Kerckhoff Laboratory of Biology—a building so grand in my eyes that I felt the need to ask a passing student if this was indeed the home of the biology department—I entered and found the office of the Chairman, Thomas Hunt Morgan, on the second floor. I identified myself to Morgan's fearful secretary, Miss Brusstar, and was ushered into Morgan's office. I recognized him immediately from photographs published in 1933, when he won the Nobel Prize. My first encounter with this man who was to have a large influence on my life was brief. I stood in front of his desk, and Morgan looked up at me from a stack of papers in front of him. "Horowitz," he said, "you are going to work with Albert Tyler." He then directed me to Tyler's office. I had never heard of Albert Tyler, but at the moment I was not inclined to ask questions of Morgan, and I went off dutifully to find Albert Tyler's office.

Additional Information

© 1998 by the Genetics Society of America. This essay commemorates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Division of Biology at Caltech by Thomas Hunt Morgan in 1928.

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