Jack Galbraith started his academic career at the University of Tennessee, but earned his B.A. from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1929. During his collegiate days he won the Eastern Intercollegiate rope climbing title in 1929. He would later rank high in that event nationally without winning the U.S. Championship, and won his silver medal in the rope climb. From 1929 until 1959, Galbraith served in the navy, reaching the rank of rear admiral when he retired. His experiences included 3½ years as a Japanese prisoner of war after his ship, the U.S.S. Houston, was sunk. He eventually received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and a Presidential Unit Citation. In 1960, Jack Galbraith received a master’s degree from Duke University and worked there for two years as a math professor. He left to teach math at Mary Baldwin College until 1974, where he later served as a professor emeritus.