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Olin & Uris Libraries

Olin: Open until 9pm
Uris: Open until 5pm

Garrett Putman Serviss, Class of 1872

Sometimes referred to as the Carl Sagan of his time, Garrett Putman Serviss (1851 – 1929) arrived in Ithaca from the Albany area in 1868 to join Cornell’s first four-year graduating class of 1872. Though a science major, his literary interests surfaced in his extracurricular activities as Class Poet, Class Historian, and member of the Adelphi Literary Society. After graduation, Serviss studied law at Columbia College and was admitted to the New York State bar in 1874. But instead of practicing law, he chose a career in journalism, eventually becoming a copy editor for the New York Sun, where he began anonymously writing science columns whose novel subject matter appealed to the newspaper’s large readership.