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Heck, I know that I had only read Harvard professor and National Book Award winner Gould was one of science’s best ambassadors to the general public until his death at 60 in 2002.
With only the slightest knowledge of what this career would be, he moved inexorably toward his goal.
In 1958, Stephen Jay Gould graduated from Jamaica High School in New York City, New York.
Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work! He joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1967, becoming a full professor there in 1973.
Gould graduated from Antioch College in 1963 and received a Ph. Gould’s own technical research focused on the evolution and speciation of West Indian land snails.
Soon, he was reading everything he could find about dinosaurs, fossils and evolution.
Stephen Jay Gould was born on September 10, 1941, in Queens, New York, the son of Leonard Gould, a court stenographer, and Eleanor, an artist and entrepreneur.
But his thoughts continually returned to the dinosaurs in the museum.
When he learned that there was a field of study called paleontology, and that an adult could have a career seeking the fossils of extinct animals, his course in life was set.
On a trip to the Museum of Natural History with his father, five-year-old Stephen was captivated by the giant dinosaur skeletons.
The majesty and mystery of these ancient creatures exerted an enduring fascination.