The millionaire who built a sperm bank with genes from Nobel laureates to make a society with minds

Robert Graham's idea that there are no ... useless and harmful people led to 208 children

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An eccentric millionaire creates a sperm bank with genes from extremely intelligent people, with a particular preference for Nobel laureates. Aim to have a society full of minds.

This description is not the script for a movie in Hollywood that we will soon enjoy in the cinema, although it undoubtedly could be. It is the true story of Robert Graham, the man who made plastic lenses for myopia glasses and despite the millions he had gained he felt an inner emptiness because he wanted to do something else in his life. Graham has been obsessed with improving human genetic material since childhood. He believed that minds had the obligation to go ahead with society and reproduce, after all, he himself had 8 children.

In 1960 he began this effort by creating an organization that undertook to pay all the costs of childbirth and upbringing of children born to poor couples with "superior mental qualifications" as he characterized them.

This idea evolved in 1980 into the “bank sperm of the Nobel Prizes ", which would give women" the best sperm, above average was not enough ", as was one of the characteristic phrases on the brochure. Its founder believed that the sperm bank could not put a stop to the reproduction of idiots by the social welfare system, but some smart people could correct the mistakes of the stupid masses.

"The better the human gene group, the better people will emerge. "The poorer the human genetic group, the more useless and harmful people are," he said, provoking reactions and many criticizing him for trying to revive the ideas that led to the rise of the Nazis. He himself denied it.

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The bank was originally housed in the basement of a San Diego home and then moved to a small office in Escondo, California. Graham began frantically looking for Nobel laureates who would donate their valuable genetic material for the good of humanity. Only three agreed to help him, but as soon as his venture caught the public eye, the two withdrew their interest. The only one who donated his sperm to the bank was William Bradford Sockle, who in 1956 was awarded the Nobel Prize for his invention of the transistor. Sokle had been denounced as a racist as he often argued that whites were smarter than blacks. But even he, fearing a new social outcry, did not give sperm again.

The "sperm bank of awards NobelHe stayed in the cold of the bath, without any Nobel Prize winners wanting to take part in Graham's effort. Another plan had to be found to replenish the bank's reserves.

"Instead of looking for Nobel laureates, I decided to anticipate who could win the prize," Graham associate Paul Smith told Slate magazine. And that's how the hunt for young volunteers started.

Berkeley students with a high IQ came in the spotlight. But Graham and Smith soon realized that the mind was not the only thing that interested women who would receive sperm from the bank. "Women used to ask if the donor was handsome, tall and athletic. "We realized that if we were to make choices, they would have to make realistic choices," said Smith.

Volunteer hunting was a failure. Of the 100 men who approached, they agreed to give sperm at least 10. "Some thought I was a Nazi or the devil himself. Some refused because their wives told them "no". "Some were infertile," Smith said. Of course, the bank always asked for the donor's medical history and excluded those who had weak sperm or some disease. And of course he did not pay them.

Those who agreed to donate their semen to Graham's bank were those who agreed with his views on eugenics. "A donor told me he thinks he contributes more to society by donating his semen to Graham Bank than with his patents. "And he was 17," Smith told Slate magazine.

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218 were born from the "sperm bank of the Nobel Prizes" children. Graham considered these children his own and sent gifts to most of them.

Robert Graham died in 1997 at the age of 91 and his family decided to close the bank in 1999.

Doron Blake, the famous child of the "sperm bank of the Nobel Prizes"

Newborn Doron Blake loved classical music. At the age of two he used the computer comfortably and in kindergarten he read Hamlet and solved algebra exercises. At 6 his IQ was 180, although he did not finish the tests that were given to him because he was bored, as he said.

Doron was one of the children of Graham's sperm bank. "I was his emblem. "The boy with the high IQ, his best result," he tells "Slate". Upton Blake's mother exposed him to the public eye from an early age and by the time he was 18 she had given him 100 interviews!

Blake went to the sperm bank when she was 40 years old. Graham used to reject unmarried women, but Blake, who was unmarried, lied to him. The first attempt with sperm from a Nobel Prize failed and the 40-year-old became pregnant the second time.

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As an adult, Doron finds Graham's idea stupid. "The fact that I have a high IQ does not make me a good or happy person. Everyone expects me to do a lot of things, but I have not. I have not done anything special. I do not believe that intelligence makes me human. What makes a person is to grow up with love from non-oppressive parents. If I was born with an IQ of 100 and not 180 I would do the same in my life. "What I love most about myself is not my intelligence, but that I care about others and try to make their lives better," he says.

Doron feels a constant pressure to show something he is not. Everyone judges him, as he says, and expects something genius from him. "I am not a fan. You feel pressured because you do not want to disappoint others, you do not feel free to be what you would like. Everyone has expectations. "I do not feel safe around people I do not know and do not trust easily," he points out.

The young man did not become a scientist like his father-donor was. He did not go to Harvard, but to Reed College in Oregon where he studied music he loves.

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