the early years
college & beyond
further into the professional life

timeline of childhood images of Marye Anne Fox
the early years


Marye Anne Fox in the First GradeMarye Anne Payne Fox was born in Canton, Ohio on December 9, 1947. Her father, Charles Payne, worked for the Republic Steel Mill and her mother, Lucille Payne, taught in the Canton Public Schools until Marye Anne was born.


Very cute portrait of Marye Anne Fox as a childWhen Marye Anne Fox was in the fourth grade, her teacher announced to the class that the Russians had launched the Sputnik satellite. As she describes the incident in a speech given at the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education, the students and their terrified teachers practiced the drill they had learned to prepare for bombing raids in the Cold War frenzied 1950s: they "crouched beneath (their) desks. . . trembling and praying for divine intervention."

The Soviet satellite and its attendant mystery left a lasting impression on the budding young scientist. She recounts how the threat of Soviet domination inspired the United States to place a stronger emphasis on scientific education and achievement in the schools, and this effort inspired Fox to take an interest in the sciences. Marye Anne Payne, you must wish and work, you must wish and work, you must wish and work

Marye Anne's philosophy for much of her achievement is evident within this writing exercise for the "W"'s. She also instilled this message to her students decades later.


A high school aged Marye Anne Fox standing at the door of her parents home before attending a military ballMarye Anne Fox in her eigth grade graduation gown and cap holding her baby sister, BetsyMarye Anne Fox graduated from the eighth grade in the spring of 1961. She suddenly had new responsibilities as a rising high school student, not only in the classroom but also at home. Her little sister Betsy was born in 1960, and she was there to help her parents care for the new baby.


portrait of Marye Anne Fox in high school Photograph of Marye-Anne Payne Fox (holding a trophy), Jack Raftery, Bob Hardy, and Sister Mary Shawn.  Caption reads: Sister Mary Shawn is very pleased with Marye-Anne Payne, Jack Raftery, and Bob Hardy for winning many noteworthy trophies this year. Central can be very proud of these three and Sister for winning first place in both the Ohio High School Speech League Districts and the National Forensic League Districts for Eastern Ohio. Bob Hardy also qualified for State and National finals in Omaha, Nebraska. At no other time has this been accomplished at Central!Marye Anne's senior year in high school was a busy one, and foreshadowed a prolific career to come. She traveled to France as an exchange student for six weeks. She helped her debate team at Central Catholic High School in Canton win top honors in statewide forensics competitions.  She was active in the National Honor Society, and she was elected "Teenager of the Year" by the local newspaper, The Repository. Marye Anne had not quite settled on science as her vocation. As she told the Repository in 1984, "When I was in high school, I thought I would be a teacher," but, the paper reported, "an aversion to disciplining students and an interest in research caused her to proceed with her education."

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