Richard Weil was born in New York City in 1876, next to the youngest child in a family of seven children. His early education was directly under the supervision of his mother, who was an exceptionably able and clear-headed woman. At the age of twelve he entered the school of Dr. J. Sachs where he prepared for college, entering Columbia University, class of 1896. Already at this early age he showed a remarkably brilliant mind, which reasoned clearly and delved deeply into all subjects that presented themselves to him. At Columbia his intellectual versatility showed itself in different lines of study—prizes in English and Latin, honors in Greek, original research in science bearing testimony to his assiduous study and careful and thorough work. In recognition of his exceptional ability he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa at the close of his junior year and he was invited by three departments, the Latin, the English and the biological to become a member of their teaching staffs.