An Accidental Statistician
At an Event Honoring George E.P. Box, 3 June 2010: His speech.
I want to tell you how I got to be a statistician. I was, of course, born in England and in 1939, I was 19 years old. I had been shooting my mouth off throughout my teens about the British Government and the fact that they were doing nothing to stop Hitler.
The results I was getting were very variable and I told my colonel that what we really needed was a statistician.
He said "we can't get one, what do you know about it?" I said "Nothing, I once tried to read a book about it by someone called R. A. Fisher but I didn't understand it". He said "You've read the book so you better do it", so I said, "Yes sir".