James D WatsonDr. James D. Watson is most famous for his work with Francis Crick in the discovery of the genetic blueprint for life. It was on April 25, 1953, that Watson, Crick, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins published their groundbreaking study on DNA.

James Watson was born in Cook County on April 6, 1928, and raised by his family in Chicago, attending South Shore High School. He enrolled at the University of Chicago at the age of 15 and graduated in 1947, later attending Indiana University and earning a Ph.D. in zoology in 1950.

He would continue to publish throughout his life. In 1968, he published “The Double Helix,” which gave his account of the discovery of DNA. The book would later be considered one of the 100 best non-fiction books by the Modern Library Publishing House. He is also credited with creating the format for virtually all modern-day science textbooks.

Watson would later run the U.S. government’s Human Genome Project from 1988 to 1992.

For more information about James Watson: