"Life was much simpler while I was growing up than today. There was no TV; for entertainment, we listened to the radio or went to movies...we laughed together at many comic shows on the radio. These comedians provided needed laughter during the stressfull years of the Depression and World War II." (Odyssey of a Woman Field Scientist, page 26)
Jean Langenheim was born in 1925 in Homer, Louisiana to Jeanette Smith and Vergil Wilson Harmon. The family moved to Tulsa Oaklahoma in the early 1930s. Langenheim attended Roosevelt Jr. High school, and graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1943. She earned a BS in biology from the University of Tulsa in 1946, and married geology student Ralph Langenheim in 1946. Jean Langenheim earned an MS in 1949 and PhD in 1953, both in botany from the University of Minnesota.