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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62 (1993)


Suggested Citation:"EARLY LIFE AND FORMATIVE YEARS." National Academy of Sciences. 1993. Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2201.
Page 297
Suggested Citation:"EARLY LIFE AND FORMATIVE YEARS." National Academy of Sciences. 1993. Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2201.
Page 298

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LEONARD AMBY MAYNARD 297 Leonard Amby Maynard November 5, 1887-June 22, 1972 BY DAPHNE A. ROE EARLY LIFE AND FORMATIVE YEARS LEONARD AMBY MAYNARD was born on a farm in the Township of Hartford, New York. It was on this farm and also in the nearby village, where his family moved when he was eight, that he acquired an appreciation of plant and animal life. He was also exposed early to books on agricultural science, which were owned by the family and used in a practical manner for their farm activities. At the age of five he started school in a one-room red schoolhouse near the farm, and later he attended the elementary school in Hartford village, where he remained until he reached eighth grade. At this time his parents sent him to the Troy Conference Academy, a coeducational boarding school in Poultney, Vermont. Here he received an excellent education in a limited range of subjects, including language skills, literature, and mathematics, but training in the sciences other than mathematics was not provided. While still at this school, he took examinations which enabled him to teach in a New York State district school, and for a year he taught in the same school where he had begun his own education. In 1907, he entered Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. As a freshman, he continued to take courses

LEONARD AMBY MAYNARD 298 in the subjects he had learned in prep school, but he also took courses in physical, biological, and social sciences. His first course in chemistry determined his future career interests. Chemistry was indeed an exciting discipline at Wesleyan at that time; it was there that Professor W. O. Atwater had recently shown how a knowledge of chemistry could be applied to enormously increase knowledge of human and animal metabolism. Although Atwater had died the year before Maynard entered Wesleyan, Atwater's pupil, Professor W. P. Bradley, gave him his first exposure to chemical knowledge and explained in the Atwater tradition how this knowledge could be applied both to animal and human nutrition as well as to agriculture. Maynard received his A.B. degree from Wesleyan in 1911 cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, he was assistant in chemistry for a year at the Iowa Experiment Station. During that year he pursued part-time graduate study, which he also did during the following year when he was assistant chemist at the Rhode Island Experiment Station. In 1913 he came to Cornell as a graduate student in the chemistry department, and in 1915 he received his Ph.D. in chemistry. During his two years of graduate work at Cornell, he was most academically stimulated by Dr. Wilder D. Bancroft, who greatly widened Maynard's knowledge of chemistry literature and initiated many of his later research interests (1972,2). However, his later concern for dissemination of nutrition knowledge to the public may have arisen not only from his earlier work in agricultural experiment stations in Iowa and Rhode Island but also from his exposure at Cornell to faculty and students who were studying physiological influences on the nutritional need of farm animals. During the period that Maynard was a graduate student at Cornell, the extension activities of the university

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Biographic Memoirs: Volume 62 contains the biographies of deceased members of the National Academy of Sciences and bibliographies of their published works. Each biographical essay was written by a member of the Academy familiar with the professional career of the deceased. For historical and bibliographical purposes, these volumes are worth returning to time and again.

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