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Julius Sumner Miller
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    (May 17, 1909-April 14, 1987)
    Appeared regularly as Professor Wonderful on ‘the Mickey Mouse Club’ in the late 1950s and as himself on Canada’s ‘Hilarious House of Frightenstein’ (1971)
    Hosted ‘Why Is It So?’ (1963-1986)
    Died of leukemia at age 77
    While living in his hometown, he claimed to have ‘read the town library dry’ by age 16.
    He was unable to obtain a teaching job during the Depression era.
    It took him some 700 letters to achieve his first job at a private Connecticut school.
    On air, he managed to fuel the mad scientist stereotype in a number of ways — on one occasion, even electrocuting himself.
    He loved paradoxical outcomes and would often milk them for all they were worth.
    He never had children.
    For his death, he willed his body to the School of Dentistry in the University of Southern California.
    He was a student and lifelong friend of Albert Einstein.
    He routinely explained laws of physics and addressed the inevitable nutty assumptions.
    Because he was well aware of this, he was not ashamed to embrace the mad scientist image.
    Even though his explanations tended to go over the heads of very young children, his visual presentations were quite simple and straightforward.
    The title of his Australian Broadcasting Company series became his catch phrase: ‘Why is it so?’
    He had a keen eye for detail: a question, likely answers and conceptions, and an actual practical solution.
    His widow established the Julius Sumner Miller Foundation in 1998.

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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