December 18, 1905–November 29, 1989


CHANDLER MCC. BROOKS (elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975) was born in West Virginia on December 18, 1905, the son of a Presbyterian minister. His family was respected and loved by the people of the various communities in the area. This environment influenced Chandler very much in his early years, shaping the foundations of his philosophical approach to life, his sense of obligation, and his long-term aims.

When he was 12 years old, his family moved from West Virginia to Massachusetts. He was emotionally tested as an adolescent by the death of his mother, an event that drew him closer to his father. According to his own account, the schools he attended in the poor districts of Massachusetts gave him little education throughout his high school period. For his college education he turned to the Midwest, where he attended Oberlin College in Ohio.

The rough experience of precollege school was not entirely negative. Brooks wrote:

My experience with barbaric young people and an antagonistic community in my youth may have enabled me to be tough too and survive in Brooklyn for over a third of a century and administer my institution during the dark

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