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"The whole thing is so preposterous," he said in a 2003 interview in Dermatology Times. "It gets brought up every few years and the explanations have to start all over again."
Kligman wrote more than 500 research papers and many books during his long career, which continued into his later years. He was featured in publications that included the New England Journal of Medicine and the magazines Time, Life and Seventeen.
Born in South Philadelphia in 1916 to Russian immigrants, Kligman credited much of his success with childhood involvement in the Boy Scouts. Field trips to the countryside with the Scouts fostered a love of plants that led him to botany and indirectly to dermatology.
He graduated with a bachelor's degree in botany in 1939 from Penn State, where he also was a competitive gymnast. At Penn, he followed his 1942 doctorate in botany with a medical degree in 1947.
At the start of World War II, the federal government asked him to travel to South America in search of botanical sources for a malaria- and mosquito-fighting insecticide for soldiers in the Pacific. When the trip was abruptly canceled, Kligman attributed it to his membership in the Communist Party.
In a 1992 interview with American Health, he said he was "extremely liberal and idealistic" at the time and that "it seemed that in the Soviet Union justice prevailed and bigotry had been abolished."
Reeling from the rejection, he enrolled in medical school and specialized in dermatology because of an interest in fungal diseases.
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