Cerebral Shangrila

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dr.Capecchi - An inspirational tale

The Nobel Prize for Medicine were announced today and one of the winners was Dr.Capecchi . Read this inspirational tale about a boy who survived second world war on the streets , enrolled in school at the age of 12 and has now gone to win the Nobel Prize. Very inspiring !

Excerpt from Washington Post , " He was only 3 when his mother, Lucy Ramberg, a member of a group of artists known as the Bohemians, was sent to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany as a political prisoner for pamphleteering against Nazism and fascism. Anticipating the arrest, Ramberg, who never married Capecchi's father, an officer in the Italian air force, sold her possessions, giving the money to a peasant family that she asked to care for her son. But the money ran out in a year."They didn't have the resources to keep me and maintain their own family," the scientist said in a telephone interview yesterday. "So I went on the streets."

Capecchi moved from town to town, hungry most of the time and occasionally living in orphanages or traveling with gangs of other homeless children who stole food from carts while other members of the group distracted the vendors. "Just surviving from day to day pretty much occupies your mind," he said in a 1997 interview with the Salt Lake Tribune.He spent years on the streets and nearly died of malnutrition in a hospital near Bologna, where he lay naked and feverish on a bed, existing on a daily bowl of chicory coffee and a small crust of bread. His mother, who was liberated from Dachau by U.S. troops in 1945, found him at the hospital after searching for more than a year. She showed up on his ninth birthday, carrying a Tyrolean outfit for him, complete with a small cap with a feather. She took him to Rome, where he had his first bath in six years."I still have the hat," he said in a 1996 lecture in Japan.

In 1946, Capecchi's uncle Edward Ramberg, a physicist living in a commune in Bucks County, Pa., sent money so that his sister and nephew could come live with his family in the United States."I was here one day, and the next day I went to my first school," Capecchi said. After attending Quaker schools through high school, Capecchi earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics from Antioch College in Ohio in 1961 and a doctorate in biophysics from Harvard University in 1967. At Harvard, he worked in the lab of molecular biologist James D. Watson, one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA.

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  • #1 : At age six X self taught to read and two years later discovered the first fictional hero in a French magazine for children, thus capturing the heroic vision which sustained her throughout X life.

    #2 At the age of nine X decided to make fiction writing as career. Thoroughly opposed to the mysticism and collectivism which was pevalent then

    #3 Introduced to American history in last year of high school, X immediately took America as model of what a nation of free men could be.

    #4 Long an admirer of cinema, X entered the State Institute for Cinema Arts in 1924 to study screenwriting.

    #5 On X's second day in Hollywood, Cecil B. DeMille saw X standing at the gate of his studio, offered X a ride to the set of his movie The King of Kings, and gave X a job, first as an extra, then as a script reader.

    #6 X began writing the most famous book in 1935. The central character depitcted as "he could be and ought to be." This book was rejected by twelve publishers but finally accepted by the Bobbs-Merrill Company. When published in 1943, it made history by becoming a best seller through word-of-mouth two years later, and gained for its author lasting recognition

    #7 as "a philosophy for living on earth."being the key theme every book by X published in lifetime is still in print, and hundreds of thousands of copies are sold each year, so far totalling more than twenty million. Several new volumes have been published posthumously. X vision of man and philosophy for living on earth have changed the lives of thousands of readers and launched a philosophic movement with a growing impact on American culture.

    Not a Nobel Prize winner.. Who is this????

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:47 PM  

  • One of the first Rainbow quizzes that I posted was on " Ayn Rand" , a person whose ideas have left a deep indelible mark on me !

    By Blogger Cogito, at 12:15 PM  

  • Hey...its been a while since i checkd ur blogs......Mario Capecchi is an awesome researcher...i had attended a lecture while in Univ. of Utah.....and i knew of his background just recently....stories of inspiration.

    By Blogger Sandhya, at 5:24 AM  

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