The Optical Society Oral History Project Interview with ... - OSA
The Optical Society Oral History Project Interview with Anthony Siegman Conducted on May 5, 2008, by Lee Sullivan LS: This is an oral history interview being conducted on Monday May 5 th , 2008, between Dr. Anthony Siegman and Lee Sullivan for the Optical Society of America. Dr. Siegman, thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk to us today. I wanted to start out by asking you a little bit about your background in education and how you first became interested in science and physics. AS: Okay. Well, I was born in Detroit in 1931 and brought up in rural Michigan about thirty miles or so north, between Pontiac and Flint. My parents were both originally from Wisconsin, from essentially farm families. My mother had been a school teacher, my father was the controller for a small ice and fuel company in Detroit. I went to the local schools, county schools, and then I went to an all-boys high school called Catholic Central High School in Detroit, which meant driving in with my father an hour or so each day and back out. And I don't know that I had a large interest in science or any early “a ha” moment about science at that time. In fact, I think in comparison to what I've seen in some of these oral histories from others where people are making deliberate choices as they go along, my feeling looking back on my life is that I've been very, very fortunate, and a lot of lucky things have happened to me, mostly through other people somehow identifying my talents or something and pointing me in the right direction.