A Biographical Sketch

Hsiao-Yun Chu 

There is luck in everything. My luck is that I was born cross-eyed, and was ejected so frequently from the establishment that I was finally forced to either perish or to employ some of those faculties with which we are all endowed – the use of which circumstances had previously so frustrated as to have put them in the deep freezer, where only hellishly hot situations could provide enough heat to melt them back into usability.

R. Buckminster Fuller, Utopia or Oblivion

Richard Buckminster Fuller Jr. was born in 1895 in Milton, Massachusetts to Caroline Wolcott and Richard Buckminster Fuller Sr., a businessman who imported teas and leather from India and Argentina. Bucky was extremely nearsighted and didn’t receive proper glasses until he was four. Later in life, he would recount how he had experienced the world in terms of fuzzy outlines, and began from an early age to think in terms of large patterns rather than small details. The Fullers had four children: Leslie, Bucky, Wolcott and Rosie, and enjoyed upper middle-class comfort, at least until 1907, when father Richard suffered the first of a series of strokes which eventually took his life in 1910. As his father’s health deteriorated steadily, so too did the family’s finances.As the eldest son, Bucky had to take on arduous chores and heavy housework, for which his mother could no longer afford to hire help. He attended a prestigious prep school, Milton Academy, as a day student from 1904-1913, but “fitting in with the other boys…placed Bucky in a precarious position… Without funds, Bucky was unable to have the clothes and other items which would have helped conceal his ungainly appearance. With large, thick glasses magnifying the size of his eyes and a head too large for his body, Bucky looked to be a scholarly owl”, writes Lloyd. S. Sieden in Buckminster Fuller’s Universe...[+]

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