Naples:life,death &
                Miracle contact: Jeff Matthews

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(This the eighth in a series of oral history narratives about WW2 in southern Italy. This is another item from Fred Hellman of Glen Cove, New York. Also, see this link for another item from Fred, as well as parts 4, 6 & 8, below)

Entries for WW 2 oral history


entry July 2013
flag/vesuvius album cover)

Letters from Seymour Kaufman

Fred Hellman was kind enough to send me some interesting correspondence from WWII. Well, not so much the correspondence as the envelopes, embellished by cartoons of the kind that display that wacky GI humor in the midst of grim reality. (Think of Bill Mauldin!) Fred says: "When I entered service, my friend Seymour Kaufman sent me letters with cartoons on the envelopes. He claimed that he could never make it as a cartoonist and pursued a Ph.D. in bio-chemistry." It's hard to say if his correspondent would have "made it" as a cartoonist. (Probably, but at least think of all the GI mailroom clerks whose mornings were brightened by these things before they reached Fred!)

In any event, Seymour Kaufman (1924-2009) certainly did make it in science. He was research scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health whose work helped lay the groundwork for understanding genetic disorders such as phenylketonuria. Dr. Kaufman received the Department of Health, Education and Welfare's Distinguished Service Award in 1980 and the American Chemical Society's Hillebrand Prize in 1991. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1986 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987.

(Photo credits:  I have been unable to trace credit/copyright information for the record album graphic of the stylized Mt. Vesuvius/US flag. If anyone has accurate information, I would be happy to list the appropriate credit.)

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