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John Dobson

John Dobson (born September 14, 1915) is a highly influential amateur astronomer who has ben dubbed the "pied piper of astronomy" and the "star monk".

He was born in Peking, China. His maternal grandfather founded Peking University and his mother was a musician, whereas his father taught zoology at the University. He and his parents moved to San Francisco, California in 1927 due to the increasing communist threat in China. His father accepted a teaching position at Lowell High School and taught there until the 1950s.

John Dobson took a degree in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1943 and joined the Vedanta Monastery in San Francisco in 1944, becoming a monk of the Ramakrishna Order.