July 11, 1908-January 15, 1987
BY ROBERT H. BURRIS AND ELDON H. NEWCOMB
SOME ASSOCIATE Kenneth Raper with the penicillia and penicillin, others with the aspergilli; developmental biologists may remember him most for having introduced Dictyostelium discoideum as a superb subject for study. His friends and associates will remember Ken not only as an outstanding, versatile scientist but also as an unusually warm human being.
Kenneth Bryan Raper was the seventh child and the sixth son of William F. and Julia Crouse Raper. With the arrival of the seventh son, John—also to become a member of the National Academy of Sciences—the family was completed. The farm in Davidson County, North Carolina, provided—with its tobacco fields and small dairy herd—a satisfying, if not affluent, living.
Each of the Raper children was expected to carry his or her share of the chores, the bright-leaf tobacco requiring a great deal of hand labor. The farm also had two deciduous forests of giant oaks, maples, and hickories, and an area of magnificent mature pines, all of which were sacrificed during the Depression.
Social life in Welcome, North Carolina, centered on the local church and school and entailed a good deal of visiting