Kohlberg, who was born in 1927, grew up in Bronxville, New York, and attended the Andover Academy in Massachusetts, a private high school for bright and usually wealthy students. He did not go immediately to college, but instead went to help the Israeli cause, in which he was made the Second Engineer on an old freighter carrying refugees from parts of Europe to Israel. After this, in 1948, he enrolled at the University of Chicago, where he scored so high on admission tests that he had to take only a few courses to earn his bachelor's degree. This he did in one year. He stayed on at Chicago for graduate work in psychology, at first thinking he would become a clinical psychologist. However, he soon became interested in Piaget and began interviewing children and adolescents on moral issues. The result was his doctoral dissertation (1958a), the first rendition of his new stage theory.