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Getting married, having children and moving house


Arriving in New York
Ernst Mayr Scientist
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I arrived as a bachelor in New York and I lived in the International House where there was... [sic] there were groups of all the different nations including a German group. And since I was at that time a German, of course I joined the German group, so I met quite a few nice young fellows, some of them studying at Columbia [University], some at NYU [New York University], some of them just living there and actually working for businesses down in Wall Street. Well, I finally got together with two other fellows and we left the International House, moved nearby, took ourselves an apartment, 55 Timan Place, and we had a lot more freedom there, and I lived there until I got married in 1935.

The late German-American biologist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) was a leading light in the field of evolutionary biology, gaining a PhD at the age of 21. He was also a tropical explorer and ornithologist who undertook an expedition to New Guinea and collected several thousand bird skins. In 1931 he accepted a curatorial position at the American Museum of Natural History. During his time at the museum, aged 37, he published his seminal work 'Systematics and Origin of the Species' which integrated the theories of Darwin and Mendel and is considered one of his greatest works.

Listeners: Walter J. Bock

Walter J. Bock is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Columbia University. He received his B.Sc. from Cornell and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. His research lies in the areas of organismal and evolutionary biology, with a special emphasis on functional and evolutionary morphology of the skeleto-muscular system, specifically the feeding apparatus of birds.

Tags: New York, International House, New York, Columbia, New York University, Wall Street, 55 Timan Place, New York, 1935

Duration: 50 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 24 January 2008