• 1911 May 06
    (b.) -
    1990 December 21


A United States physicist, oceanographer, and businessman who served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research and Development) from 1959 to 1964. Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, after graduating from high school in 1928, he received an A.B. degree in Physics from Dartmouth College in 1932. He received his B.A. degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University in 1934; an M.A. degree, also from Cambridge, in 1939; and his Doctorate in Physics from Yale University in 1940. During 1939-43, he was a Senior Physicist in the Physical Research department of the B.F. Goodrich Company in Akron, Ohio. His work at B.F. Goodrich focused on the structure and physical properties of natural and synthetic rubber, and with X-ray diffraction and electron microscope studies of high polymers. In 1943, he became an ordnance staff officer to the Coordinator of Research and Development of the United States Department of the Navy in Washington, D. C. In 1945, he joined the United States Navy's Office of Research and Inventions as head of the Chemistry, Mathematics, and Mechanics and Materials Sections of the Planning Division. In that role, he was active in the organization of the Office of Naval Research in 1946. Following the end of World War II, he and a number of his research colleagues from the Navy organized Engineering Research Associates (ERA), at which he assumed the position of Director of Research. He also participated in Project SQUID at this time, under contract to Princeton University. In 1948, he left ERA to become Associate Director of Princeton's Textile Research Institute, and would go on to serve as the Institute's Director from 1951 to 1954. In 1954, he formed a consulting firm, in which capacity he would go on to provide advice to General Electric's Lamp Division; the Stanford Research Institute; the American Radiation and Standard Sanitary Corporation; J.P. Stevens & Co.; the Frenchtown Porcelain Co.; and the Star Porcelain Co. Also in 1954, he was one of the founders of the Chesapeake Instrument Corporation, set up to conduct research and development for the United States Navy in the field of underwater acoustics. In 1959, President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him as the first Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research and Development) (the position had formerly been known as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (AIR), but that post had been re-tooled to focus on research and development during the tenure of Garrison Norton.) He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research and Development) from June 5, 1959 until June 30, 1964.In that capacity, he sought to encourage research into oceanography and attended international forums on the topic as head of the U.S. delegation. On leaving the government, he became President of Research Analysis Corporation and served on the Board of Trustees of National Geographic Magazine. In 1969, he returned to government service when President Richard Nixon appointed him head of the president's task force on oceanography. He then served for two years as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Science and Technology. He died of prostate cancer at his home in Washington, D. C. on December 21, 1990.
  • Date of Birth:

    1911 May 06
  • Date of Death:

    1990 December 21
  • Noted For:

    Involved with B.F. Goodrich’s first use of modern computers
  • Category of Achievement:

  • More Info: