John D. Gearhart
John D. Gearhart is a renowned American developmental geneticist best known for leading the Johns Hopkins University research team that first identified and isolated human pluripotent stem cells from human primordial germ cells, the precursors of fully differentiated germ cells. Born in Western Pennsylvania, Gearhart lived on the family farm located in the Allegheny Mountains for the first six years of his life. After his coal-miner father died, Gearhart' s mother and younger brother stayed on the farm while he and his older brother were sent to Girard College, an all-male school for orphans located in inner city Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Gearhart remained at the college, where he was a mediocre student, for the next ten years-1950 to 1960-while receiving his first through twelfth-grade education. After completing secondary school, he entered Pennsylvania State University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science with dreams of becoming the world's best pomologist.