Jonas Salk: Well, my parents were more than supportive, my mother particularly. My mother had no schooling. She came to this country from Russia in 1901. She immediately, as a young girl, began to work, to help support the family. And she was very ambitious in a sense for her children. She wanted her children to have more than she had, so that she lived her life and invested her life, lived through her children.

I was the eldest of three sons and the favorite and the one who had all of her attention, certainly until my middle brother was born — I was about five years old then — and my youngest brother when I was about 12. I was essentially an only child in the sense of having her interest and concerns and attention. She wanted to be sure that we all were going to advance in the world. Therefore we were encouraged in our studies, and overly protected in many ways. So from that point of view, there was encouragement in general, but not particularly in any way, because there wasn’t the same kind of culture that could lead to a particular orientation.