03/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Darwin The Comedian

In 1953, two sixth graders in Bayside, Queens, became best friends after they discovered their shared passions for Gilbert & Sullivan operas, dinosaurs, the American Museum of Natural History and Charles Darwin. In their pantheon of heroes, Darwin ranked above even Joe DiMaggio. Their classmates, of course, considered them geeks and bestowed appropriate nicknames: Fossilface and Dino.

Fossilface grew up to become an evolutionary biologist better known as Stephen Jay Gould. Dino grew up to become Charles Darwin.

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