It was reported on September 9, 1973, that August S. Claus, a pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fresno, California became a medical doctor after 45 years of part-time study.
Why did it take him so long? Very simple: Lack of money. When World War I ended, runaway inflation made the dream of attending medical school in his native Germany at the time. Instead, he chose to accept a scholarship to a German seminary.
But he kept reading medical journals and studying in his spare time. He then emigrated to the United States, accepting a position as a pastor in a small Nebraska congregation. When the Great Depression hit, the church cut off his salary and he needed to get a part-time job to survive.
He finally ended up in California and resumed his medical studies part-time at the University of Southern California – USC. He finally completed his medical degree with a three-month residency at the College of Medical Science in England – 45 years after he started studying medicine.