Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy was born in Atzgerdorf, Austria-Hungary back in 1901 to Gustav and Charlotte. His parents divorced when he was ten. He was educated by private tutors. In 1918, at 17 he began his studies at the University of Innsbruck and the University of Vienna.
He had a choice of philosophy of science or biology and he chose biology. He received his PhD in 1926. In 1934, he received is doctorial in “theoretical biology”. He was in the U.S. when he returned to Vienna where he joined the Nazi Party. I do not know if he did that for self-preservation or because he was forced to.
After the war, he moved several times to teach and do research two of which were the University of Southern California and the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1972, he died from a sudden heart attack. What you may not know about him is that he is known as one of the founders of the general systems theory. That system describes the systems with interacting components applicable to biology, cybernetics and other fields. His mathematical model of an organism’s growth over time which was published in 1934 is still in use today.