On June 15—the cover date of the JAVMA issue in which he was profiled—Dr. Nathan R. Brewer, the AVMA's senior member, died, just two weeks short of his 105th birthday.
The laboratory animal advocate acquired his interest in animals while living in a Chicago orphanage, a close relative told JAVMA. He identified with stray animals and wrote a school essay likening his situation to theirs, but for the orphanage.
The path that led him to veterinary college was a circuitous one. His high school math teacher encouraged him to attend college. He enrolled in what was then known as the National Farm School in Bucks County, Pa. While working his way through the school on a farm, he developed an interest in cows. Next he won a track scholarship to Michigan State College, earned his bachelor's, and became a state brucellosis tester. It was then that local veterinarians encouraged him to consider a veterinary career.
Dr. Brewer's obituary is published here.