• 1913 May 30
    (b.) -
    2006 September 20


Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, he was a prominent engineer in the aerospace industry. Something of a prodigy, he graduated from high school at age of 14. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degree from the University of Oklahoma. Like his future colleague Simon Ramo, he went on to study at the California Institute of Technology, from which he received his Doctorate of Physics (summa cum laude) in 1936. After leaving Caltech, he became a member of the staff of Bell Laboratories and achieved a worldwide reputation as a leading expert in the theory of magnetism basic to modern electronics. In 1946, following World War II he joined a Caltech classmate, Simon Ramo, to build a unique electronics and missile corporation now known as Hughes Electronics. In five years that company became the largest concentration of engineers and scientists in the U.S. devoted exclusively to military technology. It was the premier company producing airborne radar, computers, and guided missiles to counter a possible bomber attack on the U.S., the Hughes apparatus equipping every American interceptor airplane. He and Simon Ramo (his classmate at Caltech) both became Directors of Research for the Electronics Department. Together they formed an incredibly successful team for many years; he led research, development and engineering efforts while Ramo concentrated on investment and general business aspects. By 1948, Hughes had created its Aerospace Group to work with the also newly created U.S. Air Force. In September 1953 they jointly resigned, and within a week they formed the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation on September 16, 1953. In 1958, Ramo-Wooldridge merged with Thompson Products to form TRW, which carried on the success of its predecessor. (In 2002, TRW was bought by Northrop Grumman.) Wooldridge served as president of TRW until he retired in 1962. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He died of pneumonia on September 20, 2006 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California. He was the author of the following books: ?The Machinery of the Brain?, McGraw-Hill (1971), ASIN: B000GRLHYA; ?The Machinery of Life?; ?Mechanical Man: The Physical Basis of Intelligent Life?, McGraw-Hill (1969), ASIN: B000BTNUHA; and ?Sensory Processing in the Brain?, John Wiley & Sons Inc (August 1979), ISBN 0-471-05269-8. He served as a trustee of the California Institute of Technology and a consultant to the President?s Science Advisor. He was the recipient of a number of honors including membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Date of Birth:

    1913 May 30
  • Date of Death:

    2006 September 20
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Co-founder of the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation, which was awarded the prime contract for overall systems engineering and technical direction of the nation’s intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Program
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