Rising Man

In Grant Wood's famed picture of him, Parson Weems peeps from behind a curtain as George Washington admits he chopped down the cherry tree. His friends would never recognize egg-bald George Dinsmore Stoddard as the parson; Grant Wood put a wig on him when he posed.

Not many Americans would recognize the name of George Stoddard either, but he is one of the fastest rising men in U.S. education. At 49, he has already been, in succession, one of the nation's top child psychologists, New York State Commissioner of Education, chairman of the U.S. Education Mission to Japan,...

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