From Texas’s Big Thicket’s Poverty

The 3:15 train left Polk County on September 2, 1930, carrying a most extraordinary passenger.

Eugene H. “Gene” Brock, a genius of the type about whom astounding stories are told was leaving one of the country’s most backward and impoverished areas: East Texas’s notorious Big Thicket.

To NASA and the Bomb

What Gene couldn’t know was one day he would achieve unique status: he would become an internationally acknowledged expert in two of the twentieth century’s most important scientific discoveries: nuclear energy relating to fission and the bomb that ended World War II, and high-powered computer systems. In finale a Congressional Appointment nominated  him to head NASA’s Computation and Analysis Division for Manned Space flight. As an outcome, astronaut Neil Armstrong’s walk on the Moon.

Born a fifth-generation progeny of East Texas subsistence farmers, Gene’s story begins with the hardships he endured through the Great Depression, which kept him homeless for much of the time he was earning a degree in mathematics and physics from Texas Technological College.

As a fitting epilogue the author tells of his own pioneering role in another scientific discovery when Tim Berners-Lee introduced his breakthrough World Wide Web technology, to became known across the globe as the Internet, and the term “startup company” became the scientific phenomenon of the 1990s.