Jerome Karle, born Jerome Karfunkel (born June 18, 1918) is an American Jewish physical chemist. Jointly with Herbert A. Hauptman, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1985, for the direct analysis of crystal structures using X-ray scattering techniques.
Karle was born in New York City on June 18, 1918. He was born into a family with a strong interest in the arts. He had played piano as a youth and had participated in a number of competitions, but he was far more interested in science. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, and would later join Arthur Kornberg (awarded the Nobel in Medicine in 1959) and Paul Berg (a winner in Chemistry in 1980), as graduates of the school to win Nobel Prizes. As a youth, Karle enjoyed handball, ice skating, touch football and swimming in the nearby Atlantic Ocean.
He started college at the age of 15 and received his bachelor's degree from the City College of New York in 1937, where he took additional courses in biology, chemistry and math in addition to the required curriculum there. He earned a master's degree from Harvard University in 1938, having majored in biology.