Louis Agassiz: Early life and education
Further information: Agassiz family
Louis Agassiz was born in Môtier (now part of Haut-Vully) in the canton of Fribourg, Switzerland. Educated first at home, then spending four years of secondary school in Bienne, he completed his elementary studies in Lausanne. Having adopted medicine as his profession, he studied successively at the universities of Zürich, Heidelberg and Munich; while there he extended his knowledge of natural history, especially of botany. In 1829 he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Erlangen, and in 1830 that of doctor of medicine at Munich. Moving to Paris he fell under the tutelage of Alexander von Humboldt and Georges Cuvier, who launched him on his careers of geology and zoology respectively. Until shortly before this time he had paid no special attention to the study of ichthyology, which soon afterwards became the great occupation of his life, if not the one for which he is most remembered in the modern day. On the other hand, Agassiz was also openly a racist and an early supporter of Apartheid (s. Hans Faessler, "Reisen in Schwarz-Weiss", Rotpunkt Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-85869-0).