Joseph Augustine Cushman

Joseph Augustine Cushman

Joseph Augustine Cushman

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Joseph Augustine Cushman (January 31, 1881 – April 16, 1949) was an American geologist, paleontologist and foraminiferologist.

He was born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and was educated at Bridgewater State College. He was the captain and catcher for the baseball team along with fullback and manager for the football team. He graduated in 1901 from Bridgewater. Later He was educated at Harvard University where he received a B.S. in 1903. He became a curator at the Boston Natural History Museum, working part time so he could attend graduate school. He was awarded his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1909. He married and the couple had three children, but by 1912 he was a widower. In 1913 he became the director of the Boston Natural History Museum. The same year he re-married.

Next to his home in Sharon, Massachusetts he constructed a building that would become the Cushman Laboratory for Foraminiferal Research in 1923. In his laboratory he worked as a consultant for oil companies, as well as teaching classes in micropaleontology and performing research. He specialized in the study of marine protozoans (Foraminifera) and became the foremost foraminiferologist of the first half of the twentieth century. (He may have been the first person ever to earn a living studying these organisms.) He was aided in his laboratory by members of his family. During his career he published over 500 papers.

He died from bladder cancer and is buried in Great Hills Cemetery, which is located in Boston Ma., but...
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