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James Watson Height, Weight, Age, Family, Biography

James Watson Quick Info
Height 6 ft 1 in
Weight 74 kg
Date of Birth April 6, 1928
Zodiac Sign Aries
Spouse Elizabeth Lewis

James Watson is a Nobel prize-winning American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist who became world renowned for discovering the double helix structure of the DNA along with Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin, and Maurice Wilkins in 1953.

Born Name

James Dewey Watson

Nick Name


James Watson as seen in 2012
James Watson as seen in 2012 (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory / Wikimedia / Public Domain)

Sun Sign


Born Place

Chicago, Illinois, United States





Watson was educated at the Horace Mann Elementary School and the South Shore High School.

At the age of 15, he enrolled at the University of Chicago on a tuition scholarship. He graduated from the university in 1947 with a bachelor of science degree in zoology. Later, he enrolled at the Indiana University and earned his Ph.D. in 1950. His doctoral advisor was Salvador Luria.


Molecular Biologist, Geneticist, Zoologist


  • Father – James D. Watson (Businessman)
  • Mother – Jean Mitchell
  • Others – Lauchlin Mitchell (Maternal Grandfather) (Tailor), Lizzie Gleason (Maternal Grandmother)




6 ft 1 in or 185.5 cm


74 kg or 163 lbs

Girlfriend / Spouse

James Watson has dated –

  1. Elizabeth Lewis (1968-Present) – In 1968, he tied the knot with Elizabeth Lewis. The couple is parents to 2 sons named Rufus Robert Watson (b. 1970) and Duncan James Watson (b. 1972). His son Rufus suffers from schizophrenia.
James Watson as seen in 1992
James Watson as seen in 1992 (National Cancer Institute (NCI) / Wikimedia / Public Domain)

Race / Ethnicity


He has English ancestry on his father’s side and is of Scottish and Irish descent on his mother’s side.

Hair Color

Dark Brown

However, his hair has turned ‘Gray’ due to his advancing age.

Eye Color


Sexual Orientation


Distinctive Features

High cheekbones



James Watson as seen with his Othmer Gold Medal in 2005
James Watson as seen with his Othmer Gold Medal in 2005 (Science History Institute / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED)

James Watson Facts

  1. While growing up, he loved bird watching with his father and initially considered studying ornithology. But, reading Erwin Schrödinger’s book What Is Life? (1944) in 1946 had a profound effect on him and inspired him to make his professional career in the study of genetics instead of ornithology.
  2. In 1962, Watson won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins for their groundbreaking research on the structure of nucleic acids.
  3. He has authored numerous science books including The Double Helix (1968), which became a bestseller, and the textbook Molecular Biology of the Gene (1965).
  4. Watson was among the 22 Nobel Laureates who signed the Humanist Manifesto in 2003. Among the other dignitaries to sign the manifesto were Kurt Vonnegut, Oliver Stone, Francis Crick, Richard Dawkins, etc.
  5. He was associated with the National Institutes of Health between 1988 and 1992. It established the Human Genome Project which successfully mapped the human genome in 2003.
  6. In 2007, Watson shocked the public by stating that race and intelligence are genetically linked. He made controversial statements like “all our social policies are based on the fact that their (black) intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says, not really”. Furthermore, he added that he wished all races were equal, but “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true.” He reiterated these irresponsible comments again in a 2019 documentary. In view of it, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (where he worked for nearly 40 years) decided to revoke his honorary titles and cut all ties with him for good.

Featured Image by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory / Wikimedia / Public Domain

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