10 Things You Didn’t Know About President Richard Cook
- He attended one-room schools, complete with “outdoor plumbing,” for the first six grades.
- As a youngster, he was awarded several medals in rifle marksmanship.
- He made the acquaintance of the local fire department as a boy when he set a field ablaze with a homemade rocket.
- He once wrestled a 350-pound black bear at a forestry exposition. “The bear won,” President Cook notes dryly.
- Although apparently it was no help in the contest with the bear, he holds a black belt in Okinawan karate.
- With his father, George, he planted 8,000 Norway pines on the family homestead in northeastern Michigan.
- He was a personal acquaintance of the late two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling and is linked as Pauling’s “scientific grandson” through doctoral advisor Kurt Mislow.
- He was once detained at gunpoint by the revolutionary government in Sierra Leone.
- He nearly drowned while whitewater kayaking in Switzerland.
- He has traveled professionally on every continent except Antarctica. “That’s next,” he says.
This article was featured in the Winter/Spring 2008 issue of Allegheny Magazine.