Benjamin Peirce was born on 4 April 1809 in Salem, Massachusetts, and he died on 6 October 1880 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father, Benjamin, was a Massachusetts legislator and the first librarian of Harvard College. The son obtained the BA degree in 1829 from Harvard where he had the formative experience of reading Nathaniel Bowditch's proof sheets (which he extensively corrected and revised) for his translation of Pierre-Simon Laplace's four-volume Mécanique Céleste. During the next two years he taught at the Round Hill School in Northampton, Massachusetts, working with the founder George Bancroft. Bancroft and J. G. Cogswell made this the first secondary school in the country that was designed to attain at least the higher standards of the English and German schools of the time. In 1831 Peirce was appointed a tutor at Harvard College and became responsible for the entire mathematics program. In 1833 he obtained his MA degree from Harvard and was appointed University Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Nine years later, in 1842, he was made the first Perkins Professor of Astronomy and Mathematics, a post he held for the rest of his life. In 1867 Harvard awarded him an honorary LLD degree.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.