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Biographical Memoirs, Volume 84
plans when a close friend applied to Yale. Jim was accepted at Yale, but his friend was not, so he went alone to Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School. He liked to recount that entering an Eastern establishment school had its eye-opening moments, such as the reception he got when he stepped off the train in New Haven dressed in a kelly green suit, a parting gift from his parents.
Former roommate Charles Frankenhoff described Jim’s college years as “happy go lucky, never, but fulfilling.” Motivated and disciplined to get his studies done, Jim urged friends to do the same. He was an avid photographer and managing editor of The Yale Scientific Magazine, for which he contributed major articles on strip-mining machines, speech synthesizers, and Yale’s civil pilot training course for students. Sporting activities were severely curtailed after a knee injury suffered while playing basketball. In his sophomore year he received a rare gift for the time: an automobile that gave him freedom to date girls from nearby schools (Yale was then all male) and to keep alive his romance in Illinois with Marjorie Manne. Marjorie and Jim married in June 1943 in St. Louis.
Disenchanted with prospects for a career in chemical engineering in the aftermath of the Great Depression and saying that “anyone graduating as a chemical engineer sold apples,” he considered other possibilities. After Pearl Harbor he focused on military service. During his junior year he decided to enter medical school and took a “hurry up zoology course,” the first biology he remembered studying. The Yale class of 1943 had an accelerated senior year, and Jim graduated with honors in December 1942.
Jim’s lifestyle at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons was somewhat unusual because he was