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July 1: Jewish Nobel Laureate Day

We’ve got quite a history with this date

Adam Chandler
July 01, 2013
Robert Fogel.(Post-Gazette)
Robert Fogel.(Post-Gazette)

The first of July gives us plenty to kvetch about. It’s probably either very hot or very cold where you’re living (there are probably icicles in San Francisco). Or if you’re in New York, it’s flash-flooding. Perhaps, you’ve got to ride out the long week until the 4th of July or, even worse, there’s no 4th of July at the end of the rainbow. Despite this, July 1–historically speaking–does yield some things to be happy about.

It’s the late actor/director Sydney Pollack’s birthday, whose films adorn our 100 Greatest Jewish Films list . We can also cover up the increasingly marginal blemish of anti-Semite David Duke by celebrating Estée Lauder, both born on this day. Plus, it’s Canada Day in Canada (and parts of Brooklyn no doubt) and it’s moving day in Quebec.

But more remarkably, July 1 is also the day on which four Jewish Nobel laureates were born (five, if you count Fred Schneider of the B-52s, who was awarded an unofficial Nobel Prize for the 1980s). Alfred Goodman Gilman shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries in the field of G-proteins in 1994 and Gerald Edelman shared his in the same category in 1972 for his work on the immune system. Myron Samuel Scholes won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1997 for his work on derivatives. Also scoring Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was Robert Fogel, who won in 1993 and passed away last year.

So if you’re feeling the summertime blues, just remember, the Jewish progeny of July 1 have given you, health, wealth, beauty, iconically terrible music, and some great films.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.