Evelyn Anderson was born of Swedish immigrant parents, the fifth of seven children, on March 20, 1899, in Willmar, Minnesota. She grew up there, graduating from Willmar High School, first in her class, in 1917. She attended Carleton College, graduating in 1921. During those years, she befriended and worked for the Dean of Women, Mary Lathrop Benton, who was soon to retire. With Mary Benton’s help, she attended medical school at the University of California. After graduating, she continued her studies along with clinical work. As her interest in endocrinological research developed, she went to McGill University in Montreal to pursue a PhD in biochemistry. There in 1933-34, she co-discovered and isolated the hormone ACTH, adrenocorticotropic hormone.