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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62
September 15, 1899-May 11, 1972
BY RONALD SINGER
WILLIAM ("BILL") BLOOM was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 15, 1899, the eldest of the four children of Mayer and Bertha Singer Bloom. Both parents had emigrated from Lithuania in the 1880s, settling in Baltimore—Mayer Bloom at the age of 17, Bertha Singer as a child of 8, accompanying her parents and brothers. Mayer established a wholesale business in women's clothing, and both he and his wife were interested in civic affairs and were active in the Jewish community of Baltimore. Typically, they had a high regard for learning and a great love of books, traits which they transmitted to all of their children. In fact, by the time Bill was fifteen, his father had given him the right to charge any book he wanted from any store in Baltimore. Bill's brother, Benson, received an M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins and became a practicing physician in the Southwest, while his other brother, Frank, was a lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. Their sister, Sophia, obtained a Ph.D. from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.
Bill attended the Friends School, Baltimore City College (a municipal high school), and the Johns Hopkins University. Following brief service in the U.S. Army (Students'