Born in 1924 in New York City, Bob Fishman's interest in science was awakened by a high school botany teacher who encouraged him to think about medicine. He graduated early, entered Columbia College at age 16, and continued an accelerated course all the way through medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, with World War II in full swing. He graduated from medical school in 1947, at the tender age of 22, and decided to pursue neurology, a specialty that he often said was “just beginning to creep into the medical schools” in the postwar years. Following an internship at Yale University and further clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital, he entered the residency program at the Neurological Institute at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, which had at the time the largest neurological service in the country. The physician draft for the Korean War interrupted his trajectory, however, and he found himself at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, DC. There, he trained in the use of isotopes and worked in the head injury program, later recalling that this was “a very good place to learn neuroscience.” After his tour of duty was over, Dr Fishman returned to Columbia to finish his residency as chief resident, and he joined the faculty a year later, in 1954.