James Watson Net Worth
James Watson has an estimated net worth of $10 Million. He earned the majority of his income as a Biologist. James Dewey Watson is a zoologist, geneticist, and molecular biologist from the United States. He is credited with co-discovering the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the substance responsible for heredity.
Other biologists and Nobel laureates have called his discovery “the most important scientific discovery of the twentieth century.” His parents, James D. Watson and Jean Mitchell, raised him in Illinois.
Growing up, James Dewey Watson spent hours bird-watching and planned to major in ornithology, but Erwin Schrodinger’s book ‘What is Life?’ had such an impact on him that he eventually chose genetics. He earned his B.S. at the University of Chicago and his PhD at Indiana University.
He was adamantly opposed to the notion that genes were proteins capable of replication and that DNA was merely a tetranucleotide that supported the genes. Because of the discoveries and lectures of the time, James believed that DNA was the genetic molecule.
When he and Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins discovered the double helix structure of the DNA molecule, he found success. In 1962, James Dewey Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this discovery.
To calculate James Watson’s net worth, add up all of his assets and subtract his debts, also known as liabilities.
James Watson’s assets include everything he owns, such as the amount of money in his checking or savings account, real estate equity, savings and investment plans, and items with a clear market value (car, jewelry, clothes, art, etc.).
All outstanding debts, including the remaining balance on his home, car, business or personal loan, credit card debt, back taxes, and anything else he still owes, are included in his liabilities.
Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:
|Net Worth:||$10 Million|
|Monthly Salary:||$40 Thousand+|
|Annual Income:||$500 Thousand+|
|Source of Wealth:||Molecular Biologist|
Childhood & Early Life
James Watson was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 6, 1928. His father was a businessman named James D. Watson, and his mother’s name was Jean Mitchell.
He spent eight years at Horace Mann Grammar School and two years at South Shore High School. In 1943, he attended the University of Chicago on a tuition scholarship to further his education.
In 1947, he earned a B. S. in Zoology from Chicago University. When Indiana University awarded him a fellowship, he was able to pursue his dream of studying genetics.
He completed his PhD research at the laboratory of Salvador Luria (also his doctoral advisor). Luria was a founding member of the new Phage group, a geneticists’ movement from the experiential system to microbial genetics.
At the time, the widely held belief was that genes were proteins that could replicate and that DNA was the structure that allowed them to do so. However, Avery-Macleod-experiment McCarty’s convinced Watson that DNA was the genetic molecule.
His doctoral thesis was inspired by geneticists H. J. Muller and T. M. Sonneborn, as well as microbiologist Max Delbruck, and focused on the effect of hard X-rays on bacteriophage multiplication. In 1950, he received his PhD in Zoology.
He spent a year at Copenhagen University working with biochemist Herman Kalckar in his laboratory for his postdoctoral research. However, because their areas of interest differed, Watson changed jobs after a few months.
His new collaborator was microbial physiologist Ole Maaloe, with whom he conducted several experiments to investigate the structure of DNA. They accepted that the outcome of their first attempt was inconclusive after much hard work and deliberation.
While in Italy, James Watson learned about Maurice Wilkins’ X-ray diffraction of DNA, and Linus Pauling soon published his model of the amino acid alpha helix in California. These developments bolstered Watson’s conviction.
Watson recognized that understanding and learning X-ray diffraction was critical to accurately describing the structure of DNA, so Luria secured him a new postdoctoral research project in England where he could do so. He visited the Stazione Zoologica ‘Anton Dohrn’ in Naples in 1951.
In 1953, Watson and his colleague Crick deduced the double-helical structure of DNA at the Cavendish Laboratory. The original announcement was made at a conference in Belgium, and a paper on the subject was published the same year in the scientific journal ‘Nature.’
In June 1953, Watson presented a paper on the double-helical structure of DNA at the 18th Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Viruses. Many in the audience had never heard of the discovery, and the majority of them were seeing the model for the first time.
He joined Harvard University as an assistant professor of biology in 1956. He was promoted several times over the years, eventually becoming a full professor of biology, and remained on the faculty until 1976. His personal research focused on RNA (ribonucleic acid) and its role in genetic information transfer.
He wrote the textbooks ‘The Molecular Biology of the Gene’ and ‘Recombinant DNA’ while at Harvard.
For about 35 years, he was the director and president of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He later rose through the ranks to become Chancellor and then Chancellor Emeritus.
In 1990, he was named Director of the Human Genome Project by the National Institutes of Health. He resigned two years later, however, because he disagreed with Bernadine Healy’s (then-NIH Director) position on applying for patents on brain-specific DNA.
He was fired from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in October 2007 after making remarks about race and intelligence. He retired a week later, citing old age and unanticipated circumstances.
In 1953, James Dewey Watson and his colleagues co-discovered the double-helical structure of the DNA molecule. The discovery is regarded as one of the most significant of the twentieth century. For their discovery, James Dewey Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.
Awards & Achievements
For his outstanding achievements, James Dewey Watson was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins), the John J. Carty Award (1971), the Copley Medal (1993), and the Lomonosov Gold Medal (1994).
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1968, James Watson married Elizabeth Lewis, and the couple has two sons, Rufus Robert Watson and Duncan James Watson. Rufus, who was born in 1970, has schizophrenia.
In 2007, his memoir, ‘Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science,’ was published, and a UK Book Tour was planned. However, in an interview, he made statements about race and intelligence that were widely regarded as insensitive. Following the uproar, he canceled the remainder of his tour.
Watson’s reputation suffered as a result of the 2007 controversy, and his financial situation deteriorated to the point where he had to auction off his Nobel Prize medal in 2014. Alisher Usmanov, a Russian tycoon, bought it for $4.1 million and returned the medal to Watson.
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