Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Stephen Jay Gould (gewld) stands among the best-known and most widely read scientific essayists of all time. His entertaining writing established him as the twentieth century’s foremost interpreter of evolution for nonscientists, while his revisions of Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection engendered debate among scientists.
Born to second-generation Jewish immigrant parents, Gould grew up in Queens, New York. His fascination with paleontology began at age five, when he first saw a Tyrannosaurus skeleton at the American Museum of Natural History. Gould attended public school in New York, where his classmates nicknamed him “Fossil Face” because of his passion for dinosaurs. He was an equally passionate fan of the New York Yankees, and both evolution and baseball were to remain lifelong preoccupations.
Gould earned his A.B. in geology at Antioch College in 1963; he married fellow student Deborah Lee in 1965. The couple had two sons, Ethan and Jesse, and later divorced. Gould completed his Ph.D. in paleontology at Columbia University in 1967, where he became expert on the fossil land snails of Bermuda. Immediately upon completion of his doctorate, he joined the faculty at Harvard University as assistant professor of geology and assistant curator at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. He achieved associate status...
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