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    William Howard Stein

    Jew Score:



    June 25, 1911 – February 2, 1980

    Why are so many Jews named Stein, or have names that end with -stein? Let's learn!

    It all has to do with Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II in 1787. Old Joe decided that everyone in his empire needed a last name... for tax purposes. Up to that point, Jews didn't have last names as we know them today, and were just using the "Ben" patronymic (Abraham Ben Moses = Abraham, son of Moses).

    Suddenly, all Jews of central Europe needed last names, and Germans had to get creative. Some Jews got their patronymics turned into last names (Jacobs, Leibowitz, Aaronson), some got names from their professions (Miller, Sandler (shoemaker), Kramer (storekeeper)), some from locations (Pollack, Wiener, Oppenheimer)... but that's just scratching the surface. There are way too many Jews and way too many last names that needed to be given out.

    So many Jews got ornamental names. Ends -blum: flower. Ends with -berg: mountain. Ends with -baum: tree. Ends with -feld: field. Ends with -stein: stone. What helps -stein even further is that it also doubled as a professional name, for people who worked on stones were jewelers... and there were many, many Jewish jewelers.

    So, which Stein do we pick for this profile? Honestly, we can throw a dart and land at someone of importance, there are so many...

    Let's go with William Howard Stein, 1972 Nobel chemistry laureate!

    Verdict: Jew.

    July 8, 2022

    See Also

    Christian Anfinsen

    Paul Berg

    Aurel Stein

    Ben Stein

    Gertrude Stein
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