Robert A. Isaacs in 1944
(he was a B-17 pilot, and missed combat over Europe by two days)

Robert A. Isaacs played the role of "Section Man" in all three performances. (A "section man" is the person who leads the recitations for physics classes, working additional physics problems with the students, and answering questions.) At the time of the show, he was a graduate student in physics. He recalls the first time he met Tom Lehrer: "I went upstairs to Tom's room -- he was playing a Tchaikovsky piano concerto with each hand in a different key!"

He was an undergraduate first at Tufts (before his stint in the Army Air Forces), and then at Harvard. He went on to complete a Master's degree at Harvard under the GI Bill, but funds ran out before he could finish the Ph.D. He became an applied mathematician at Philco Corp. , a leading electronics company. He became Department Manager, and worked on airborne digital computers and orbital trajectory calculations among other projects, first at the Philadelphia offices, and then in Palo Alto. He left Philco in 1966 to begin a career as a freelance photographer, and pursued this successfully for 40 years. He has published photos in Time and Life magazines, as well as many others. One of his best-known images (from "The Best of Life") is shown below. He has sung with a small madrigal group led by the legendary Robert Noyce (inventor of the integrated circuit), and (as part of the 100-member Schola Cantorum) with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

Portion of "The Ticky Tacky Houses of Daly City", photo by Robert A. Isaacs.
(click to enlarge)

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Background image: Covers for Tom Lehrer's albums