My childhood upbringing in no way suggested that I would become an astronomer, but accidents of fate pushed me in the direction of science, and I have benefited greatly from being in the right place at the right time. I grew up in Seattle, earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics at the University of Washington, and eventually a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. I was a postdoc at the Mt. Wilson Observatory, an assistant professor at Indiana University, later the Yerkes Observatory (University of Chicago), and still later I became a staff member of the Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories. After several years, I returned to the University of California, this time with the Lick Observatory staff at its new academic home on the Santa Cruz campus, where I have been ever since. My research has focused on the relation of Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars to problems of Galactic structure, the binary nature of cataclysmic variables, the decay of angular momentum of solar type stars, and the chemical history of the Galaxy as revealed by the abundances of very old stars in globular clusters and the Galactic halo field. None of this work would have been possible without the help of excellent teachers and mentors, great colleagues, and superb postdocs and graduate students. Most of all, I am grateful for the educational opportunities afforded me by state-supported public Universities.

Keyword(s): autobiographyhistorysciencestars

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