Karlman Wasserman was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1927 and graduated from high School in Passaic, New Jersey in June 1944. World War II was still quite active, allied troops just having landed in Normandy in their European campaign. Not having yet reached the age of 18, he joined the U.S. Army in the Army Specialized Training Reserve program to start college education in basic engineering at Princeton University. After finishing three quarters of college training at Princeton, he was called to active duty in April, 1945, having already reached the age of 18 years. He trained in the infantry at Fort McClellan, Alabama. In September of 1945, he was sent overseas to Japan as a member of the post World War II Army of Occupation.
After completion of his service in December, 1946, he was able to continue his education, using the GI bill, at Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey, near his home. He majored in chemistry and minored in biology, both of which he enjoyed. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in September, 1948, with one year left on his GI bill, he applied to Tulane University Graduate School, in New Orleans, for training in Physiology. This turned out to be a good fit, since he enjoyed the study of Physiology very much, particularly the experimental component.