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J Robert Oppenheimer J Robert Oppenheimer was born on April 22 1904 by his mother Ella and his father Julius The house in New York that Oppenheimer grew up in was a very luxurious place for the time period Oppenheimer became an abnormally repulsively good little boy as stated by his father His father was a German immigrant who made his money by importing textiles into New York City At the age of 5 Oppenheimer went on a trip to visit his family home in Germany where his grandfather lives His grandfather Ben gave him a small bag of minerals which triggered a hobby that was to last for years Mineralogy Oppenheimer was to spend hours-collecting samples and cataloguing and polishing them By the age of 11 he had been elected a member of the New York Mineralogical Club About a year later he delivered his first paper there His parents said that there was no doubt that he was clever and at school a star Although both his parents were Jewish they rejected orthodox Jewish society and culture They sent Robert and later his brother Frank who was 8 to the school run by the New York Society for Ethical Culture The schools founder was another German immigrant Felix Adler He believed that human values did not make a person nor did they make them less important He taught that man should form his own attitudes towards the unknowns and lifes mysteries Oppenheimer was very hungry for knowledge so he decided to take up something that involved a lot of thinking He was very interested in Greek In fact he would stay after class and read a book by the name of Homer and Plato By the age of 11 he was able to challenge an older cousin of his to ask me a question and I will answer you in Greek He had absolutely no taste for sports He was driven everywhere
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