Harold Amos a native of Pennsauken, N.J., who graduated from Springfield College in Springfield, Mass with a baccalaureate in 1941. He had gone there on an academic scholarship, something few African Americans received at that time. He also served in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps in Europe during World War II. Following this service, he earned an MA from Harvard University and then received his Ph.D. from the HMS Division of Medical Sciences in 1952. From 1951 to 1952, he was a Fulbright scholar at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and, in 1954; he joined the Medical School faculty as an instructor in the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology. From 1968 until 1971, and again from 1975 until 1978, he served as chair of the department (now the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics).