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Harlow Shapley

astronomer

Shapley came from a farming background in Nashville, Missouri. He began his career as a crime reporter on the *Daily Sun* of a small Kansas town when he was 16. He entered the University of Missouri in 1907 intending to study journalism but took astronomy instead, gaining his MA in 1911. He then went on a fellowship to Princeton where he studied under Henry Russell and gained his PhD in 1913. From 1914 to 1921 he was on the staff of the Mount Wilson Observatory in California. Finally Shapley was appointed in 1921 to the directorship of the Harvard College Observatory where he remained until 1952.