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It was established in 1853, but before that the land was part of a large cattle ranch.
Today, Berkeley is primarily known as a university town, being the home of the presitigious University of California, Berkeley. It is also noted for its environmentalism, bayfront views, waterfront activities, relaxed and open minded atmosphere, and for being one of the most politically liberal cities in the country.
People Born in Berkeley
Berkeley in People's Lives
Jack London: After working intensely to pass the rigorous entrance exams for my dream school, the University of California, Berkeley, and miraculously being given a loan to attend from a friendly bar owner, I left my hometown of nearby Oakland to study here beginning in 1896. While here, I did not write for any of the school's publications as I had in high school, perhaps passed over in favor of other, wealthier and more well connected students. Also while attending, I found newspaper articles and other records about my mother, and about Chaney, the man that had been her live-in lover at the time. I found him and wrote to him, saying that I was his son. However, Chaney wrote back dismissively and said that it was impossible that he was my father, as he was impotent. He then suggested that my mother had slept with other men during their relationship, or perhaps had even been a prostitute. Having gotten my hopes up so high about finally finding my biological father, only to have them crushed in such a terrible way, devastated me. When I ran out of money to pay for tuition, I was forced to leave the university in 1897, never graduating. I set out with my brother-in-law to join the Klondike Gold Rush.