Raymond Pearl (1879–1940) was a significant figure in the field of biology. He founded the journal Human Biology and almost single-handedly promoted and established the scientific discipline of human biology. His scientific versatility was one of his most important features during the first four decades of the 20th century, and he played a major role in developing the fields of biodemography, human population biology, human life-cycle and life span approaches, fertility, growth, the biology of longevity and senescence, and mortality. He was one of the earliest biologists to combine biometric analyses and experimental studies to explore the dimensions of human biology. Pearl also was broadly educated in the arts, music, literature, history, the classics, and science. His writing was sophisticated and often witty, and his views were sometimes provocative and controversial. His network of colleagues and friends among the literary and science worlds was substantial. The following biographical memoir of Raymond Pearl is designed to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the founding of his journal Human Biology and is a tribute to this great scientist. Pearl's sudden death at age 61 truncated a scientific career that was one of the most productive of the 20th century.
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Vol. 82 • No. 1