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George A. Cowan is an American physical chemist, a businessman and
philanthropist. He conducted early research in the Manhattan
Project. George served 39 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory
as director of chemistry, associate director of research and senior
laboratory fellow. He participated in founding the Santa Fe Opera
in 1953. He founded the Los Alamos National Bank in 1963 to provide
a means to obtain housing for Los Alamos employees and served for
30 years as its chair. He was also the driving influence in
founding the Santa Fe Institute together with Murray Gell-Mann and
others in 1984, based upon his recognition of the need for a place
where scientists could be offered a broader curriculum for the
development of "a kind of twenty-first century Renaissance man" and
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