Wednesday, March 28, 2007

L A Times reports Ransom Myers' backstory:

I have found 26 articles reporting Ram's death, but none have included his backstory. But there is a writer who knew Ram and cared enough to write what most don't know. His name is Ken.Weiss of the LA Times. His story is the one you want to read.,1,192207.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Born and raised in the tiny town of Lula, Miss., Ransom Aldrich Myers Jr. was one of four children and the namesake son of a cotton farmer who owned a plantation stretching across thousands of acres.In grade school, his teachers were worried that he was slow to learn to read, according to his younger sister, Susan G. Myers. But by high school, his teachers said that he shouldn't bother coming to school. It was for another reason: There was apparently nothing they could teach him that he hadn't already mastered. At age 16, he won an international science fair with an "X-ray crystallograph" that measured the symmetry between atoms — a delicate instrument that he built in his bedroom. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology tried to recruit Myers for its physics department, but his father wouldn't stand for it. "My father wouldn't let him go because it was north of the Mason-Dixon line," Myers' sister said, explaining that deep Southern roots included ancestors who were Confederate soldiers.So Myers earned a physics degree at Rice University in Houston and then worked in the oilfields of Kuwait as a physicist to earn some money before departing on a series of adventures that took him trekking in Nepal, backpacking through Africa and sailing across the Atlantic from Africa to the Caribbean in a 28-foot boat.It was during this time that he became interested in fish, his sister said. Not wanting to displease his father, he ventured farther north than the Yankee north and enrolled in Dalhousie University, where he received a master's degree in mathematics and a PhD in biology.

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