Goldschmidt, Richard, 1878-1958

Alternative names
Birth 1878-04-12
Death 1958-04-24

Biographical notes:

Professor of Zoology, University of California, Berkeley.

From the description of Richard Benedict Goldschmidt papers, bulk 1900-1956. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 82679468


Richard B. Goldschmidt was born on April 12, 1878 in Frankfurt am Main. He studied in Heidelberg and Munich, 1896-1902, under Otto Bütschli and Richard Hertwig, receiving his PhD in 1902 from Heidelberg. From 1903 to 1913 he worked under Hertwig at the Zoological Institute in Munich and in 1914 was offered a position at the new Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology. In 1921 he became the Institute's second director, and continued the association until 1936, when Nazi persecution made life in Germany untenable for him. Goldschmidt had already spent some time abroad, having been in the U.S. during World War I and in Japan, as professor of zoology at the University of Tokyo, 1924-1926. In 1936 Goldschmidt accepted a professorship in the Department of Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught until his retirement in 1948.

Goldschmidt wrote over 250 scientific papers and seventeen books, including two for laymen, Ascaris and Understanding Heredity, and two autobiographical works, Portraits from Memory and In and Out of the Ivory Tower. He received three honorary degrees, was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a foreign or honorary member in eighteen foreign academies and learned societies. In 1953 he served as President of the 9th International Congress of Genetics in Bellagio.

He died in Berkeley on April 24, 1958.

From the guide to the Richard Benedict Goldschmidt Papers, (bulk 1900-1956), (The Bancroft Library)


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  • Zoology
  • Genetics


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  • Germany (as recorded)