The son of a butcher, most of his family died in a plague that swept England, leaving him with a fair estate. He attended Emmanuel College and became a minister. He married, sailed for America and served as assistant pastor of the First Church of Charlestown before dying of tuberculosis on this day, Sept. 14, 1638. His name: John Harvard. The founders of Harvard College wrote: "After God had carried us safe to New-England ... it pleased God to stir up the heart of one Mr. Harvard, a godly gentleman ... to give ... one half of his estate ... towards the erecting of a college."