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Gottfried de Purucker was born on January 15, 1874, at Suffern, New York, son of an Anglican minister who for some years served as chaplain of the American Church in Geneva, Switzerland. In preparation for the ministry he specialized in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and the writings of the early Church Fathers. However, study of Eastern philosophies and Sanskrit literature led him to theosophy with its broad comprehension of religion, philosophy, and science. After working closely with Katherine Tingley, he succeeded her as head of The Theosophical Society from 1929 until his death in Covina, California, on September 27, 1942. Perhaps his greatest contribution to the theosophical movement was his elucidation of the writings of H. P. Blavatsky, particularly her Secret Doctrine. (Link to Biographical Sketch.)