The Letter


“Dear Michael,
..Jim Watson and I have probably made a most important discovery. We have built a model for the structure of de-oxy-ribose-nucleic-acid (read it carefully) called D.N.A. You may remember that the genes of the chromosomes – which carry the hereditary factors – are made up of protein and D.N.A. Our structure is very beautiful… Now we believe that the D.N.A. is a code. That is, the order of the bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another)… In other words we think we have found the basic copying mechanism by which life comes from life. You can understand that we are very excited. Read this carefully so that you understand it. When you come home we will show you the model…
Lots of love, Daddy.”
March 19, 1953

(Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure and function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), wrote a letter to Michael Crick, his 12-year-old son, outlining the revolutionary discovery. The 7 page handwritten letter expresses Crick’s personal excitement of the recognition of the double helix structure of DNA.)