July 30, 1960


Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.

JAMA. 1960;173(13):1413-1416. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020310001001

BECAUSE ideals are come by early, it is profitable to look at the circumstances of a man's boyhood and youth when that insight is available. Abraham Flexner lefta revealing and delightfully written account of that early period in his career. He was born in a small Kentucky community, the sixth of nine children, to Jewish parents who had met and married in the United States but who had arrived as immigrants from Europe during the 1850's. His father died before Abraham was 16 years old, but his precept and example left indelible impressions on the growing boy. Although both parents had only limited formal educations, they shared a tremendous respect for culture and made prodigious sacrifices to see that their children received every cultural advantage that the locality offorded.

The father had been successful in business almost from his arrival and until 1873, but he lost what he had accumulated

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