Georgia Ornithological Society, founded in December 1936. At the first biennial meeting of the society, in 1937, The Oriole became the official organ of the society. These bird watching and natural history activities would play a predominant role in his life for many years, even after his retirement.
Norman attended public schools along with his younger brother Cuthbert (“Bert”). He then attended Boys’ High School in Atlanta, and upon graduation in 1934 he received a first-year scholarship to Emory University, to which he commuted by streetcar. At Emory he majored in biology, with an emphasis on genetics. It was at Emory that he met his first wife, Dorothy Evelyn Lunsford, who was also a biology major. In later years Dorothy served as one of his research assistants at Oak Ridge and then at Yale, especially in experiments with Neurospora.
Upon graduation from Emory with an A.B. degree in biology in 1937, Norman was awarded a Beck Foundation Fellowship. He decided to attend Harvard, entering in the fall of 1937. He married Dorothy Lunsford on August 26, 1939. Later, in 1951 and 1953, they adopted two children: Annette Guerard Giles (later Annette Brown) and David Lunsford Giles.
At Harvard Norman soon came under the influence of the world-renowned cytogeneticist, Karl Sax, the “father” of radiation cytology, and decided to complete his Ph.D. with Sax. At that time Norman was associated with an exceptional group of graduate students in the Biology Department, many of whom were later elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences: Charles Rick, Carl Swanson, Reed Rollins, Bob Galambos, Donald Griffin, Carol Williams, and Vincent Dethier.
Following graduation Norman remained at Harvard on a Parker Fellowship for a postdoctoral year and performed, at the suggestion of Sax, the classical experiments on the