|Watson's mother died shortly after his graduation from Furman, freeing him to pursue philosophy rather than the ministry. He arrived at the University of Chicago in 1900 with $50 in his pocket. He worked as a janitor, waiter, and rat caretaker to earn money.
At Chicago, Watson took philosophy courses with John Dewey but claimed he didn't understand the man. He pursued a PhD in experimental psychology under James Rowland Angell instead.
Watson graduated from the University of Chicago in 1903, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. At that time he was the youngest person to earn a PhD at the University of Chicago.
Watson stayed at Chicago five more years as Angell's assistant and later as a faculty member.
In 1904, Watson married a former student, Mary Ickes. They had two children, Mary and John. The photo to the right is of Mary Ickes.