UPDATED: October 26, 2006
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I was born on January 16, 1926 in Los Angeles, California.
I have no siblings.
My father was an automobile mechanic, my mother did not work outside of the home.
Happy and highly stable childhood. I lived in a lower middle class neighborhood near downtown L.A. from the time I was 5 years old until I was drafted into the army at 18.
Education: 1931-1937 Elementary School (walking distance from home)
1938-1940 Junior High School (short bike ride from home)
1941-1943 High School (short car ride--I had my own car when I became 16)
Parents wanted me to go to college and enter some kind of profession. Both parents were very interested in my school work.
I was in the Boy Scouts for about 3 years, took drum lessons, played in a youth orchestra/marching band. I was not a very good musician--not committed to being a musician--wanted to be a scientist.
In elementary school I became very interested in science--chemistry and biology.
I did not have very good social skills--I think I would have been considered a nerd if that term had been available when I went to junior high and high school. I was not good at any sports, although as I was finishing high school I became interested (but not skilled) in gymnastics.
Entered UCLA as a chemistry major in Fall 1943, completed one semester, then drafted into the army in June 1944 (in the middle of my second semester). Did not do very well at UCLA--although I was a very good student in high school, when I got to UCLA I was only average or less than average in terms of college skills. Made a C average my first semester and about the same during second semester. I worked very hard at being a good student--spent more hours studying than most of the other students I knew, but still didn't do very well on tests and on written assignments.
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