Master Surname Index

James B. Conant

Ancestry of
James B. Conant

President of Harvard University

    James Bryant Conant

    View famous kin of James Bryant Conant

    • 1st Generation
    • Ahnentafel No:
    • Birth Date:
    • 26 Mar 1893 
    • Birth Location:
    • Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts 
    • Christening Date:
    • Christening Location:
    • Death Date:
    • 11 Feb 1978 
    • Death Location:
    • Hanover, Grafton, New Hampshire 
    • Burial Date:
    • Burial Location:
    • Notes: 
    • President of Harvard University

      1st U. S. Ambassador to West Germany

      James Bryant Conant was born on March 26, 1893, in Boston, Massachusetts, and went on to become a prominent American chemist, educator, and administrator. Conant played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of higher education in the United States during the 20th century.

      Conant earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Harvard University in 1914 and later received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard in 1916. He quickly rose through the academic ranks, becoming a professor at Harvard by the age of 28. Conant's early research focused on the synthesis of biologically important compounds, contributing significantly to the field of organic chemistry. During World War I, he served in the U. S. Army helping to develop poison gases.

      In 1933, Conant was appointed President of Harvard University, a position he held for two decades until 1953. As Harvard's president, he implemented a series of reforms that modernized the university's curriculum, admissions process, and faculty structure. Conant's vision for Harvard emphasized a more inclusive and meritocratic approach to education.

      During World War II, Conant served as the chairman of the National Defense Research Committee, where he played a crucial role in coordinating scientific research efforts for the war, including development of the atom bomb. His contributions earned him the Medal for Merit in 1946.

      After leaving the presidency of Harvard, Conant continued to be involved in education and public service. He served as the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany from 1953 to 1955, contributing to the reconstruction of post-war Germany. Conant also played a key role in the development of the educational television program, "Science Talent Search."

      In addition to his administrative and scientific achievements, Conant authored several books, including "On Understanding Science," where he discussed the importance of science education in a rapidly changing world, and "The American High School Today," better known as "The Conant Report."

      James B. Conant passed away on February 11, 1978, leaving behind a lasting legacy as a leader in higher education, a pioneering chemist, and a dedicated public servant. His influence on the development of American education and science policy continues to be acknowledged and celebrated. He is also the namesake of James B. Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

  • Marriages for James Bryant Conant

    • Spouse:
    • Grace Thayer Richards
    • Marriage Date:
    • 17 Apr 1921
    • Marriage Location:
    • Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts

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