March 10, 1864–July 22, 1943
BY JOSEPH L. WALSH
WILLIAM FOGG OSGOOD WAS born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of William and Mary Rogers (Gannett) Osgood. He prepared for college at the Boston Latin School, entered Harvard in 1882, and was graduated with the A.B. degree in 1886, second in his class of 286 members. He remained at Harvard for one year of graduate work in mathematics, received the degree of A.M. in 1887, and then went to Germany to continue his mathematical studies. During Osgood’s study at Harvard, the great Benjamin Peirce (1809-1880), who had towered like a giant over the entire United States, was no longer there. James Mills Peirce (1834-1906), son of Benjamin, was in the Mathematics Department, and served also later (1890-1895) as Dean of the Graduate School and (1895-1898) as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. William Elwood Byerly was also a member of the Department (1876-1913) and is remembered for his excellent teaching and his texts on the Calculus and on Fourier’s Series and Spherical Harmonics. Benjamin Osgood Peirce (1854-1914) was a mathematical physicist, noted for
Reprinted with permission. Courtesy of the Harvard University Archives. Selected bibliography appended.