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September 14, 1964

PETER CAMPER (1722-1789)

JAMA. 1964;189(11):852-853. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070110054018

Peter Camper, anatomist, anthropologist, illustrator, physician, and surgeon, was born in Leyden where he was soon to benefit from an abundant intellectual and material family heritage. His grandfather was a physician, whereas his father was at one time a clergyman in the Dutch East Indies. Florent Camper amassed much wealth, took philosophy and the arts seriously, and enjoyed the friendship of learned people in the community, including Boerhaave, Leyden's most distinguished physician.1 Peter was diligent and bright and easily excelled his classmates in scholarship. He learned the art of design and painting from the De Moores (father and son), an accomplishment which served him well in his anatomical drawings. Before his twelfth birthday he was accepted at Leyden University, where he studied the classics, medicine, and the natural sciences. The degrees of doctor of philosophy and doctor of medicine were granted when he was 24. Another example of Camper's