Thomas Hunt Morgan

“for his discoveries concerning the role played by the chromosome in heredity.”

Biography

THOMAS HUNT MORGAN WAS BORN IN 1866 AT LEXINGTON, Kentucky. He attended the University of Kentucky and was graduated in 1886. He then entered the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied morphology with Professor W. K. Brooks and physiology with H. Newell Martin. In 1890 he received the Ph.D. degree and was Bruce Fellow¬†for the following year. In 1891 he was appointed associate professor of biology at Bryn Mawr College, where he remained until 1904; in that year he was named professor of experimental zoology at Columbia University. In 1928 he became head of the KerckhofT Biological Laboratories of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California. From 1909 on, Morgan attracted to his laboratory a brilliant group of workers, including C B. Bridges and A. H. Sturtevant, with both of whom he shared the Nobel Prize money, and H. J. Muller, who was later awarded the Prize himself for his discovery of X-ray mutations (see below, pp. 238-243). The result of the combined efforts of Morgan’s team was a great extension of the knowledge of genetics. Morgan’s work and influence were acknowledged by the award of many honors, including foreign membership in the Royal Society. He died at the age of seventy-nine, on December 4, 1945.