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Early Life and Education

A photograph of seventeen young men standing and seated around a heraldic shield 
                    containing the Greek letters Theta, Delta, and Chi. They are dressed in dark 
                    jackets with ties. An older man in a lighter colored suit stands in the upper right.

Theta Delta Chi group portrait (detail with Hood seated to the immediate right of the shield), c. 1899 Brown University Archives

While the Chicago Tribune Tower competition of 1922 is seen as the turning point in Raymond Hood’s career, it is in his early years of study and work that he began experimenting with the key features we associate with his later work: a blend of tradition and innovation, a focus on plan, a facility with style and ornament, an understanding of architectural illumination, and a thoughtful, iterative approach to design.

Hood was born on March 29, 1881, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and knew from a young age that he wanted to become an architect. In 1898 he enrolled at Brown University where he took classes in mathematics, rhetoric, French, and drawing and joined the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.