Edition August 28, 2016 I plan to add to and correct this list as time permits. Your input welcome
BART and PRISCILLA BOK. Scott Rd Bartholomeus Jan Bok, 28 April 1906--5 August 1983 Bart Bok was born in the Netherlands and educated at the Universities of Leiden and Groningen, earning his doctorate at the latter under P.J. van Rhijn. He worked at Harvard University from 1929–57, and for the next nine years he directed the Mt. Stromlo Observatory in Australia. His last years were at the University of Arizona, where he directed the Steward Observatory from 1966-70. In the early 1940s he helped set up the National Observatory of Mexico at Tonantzintla, and ten years later he performed a similar job for Harvard’s southern station in South Africa. In Australia he helped establish the Siding Spring Observatory. Working closely with his wife, Priscilla Fairfield Bok, he studied the structure and evolution of star clusters and the Galaxy, mapping the spiral arms of the Milky Way, especially the Carina region, and the Magellanic Clouds. Bok initiated radio astronomy at Harvard and promoted it elsewhere. His investigations of interstellar gas and dust led to studies of star formation, and he became known for his work on small dark nebulae now called Bok globules. He was an important teacher, writer, leader, and popularizer of astronomy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_Bok
John F. Bok (BHS ’47, Harvard College’51, Harvard Law School '53 ) became a prominent Boston lawyer. Involved in redevelopment matters and was thereby quite influential. He died in 2014 and got a fulsome obituary in the Bostom Globe.
James Duesenberry, a professor of economics. He lived up the street from Charles Parsons and his parents Talcott and Helen Parsons from about 1954. He was a long-time member of the Dunster House senior common room. In the 90s and early 2000s, Charles Parsons saw something of him at Senior Common Room affairs there. He and his wife are now both dead.
EDGERTON Harold Eugene "Doc" Edgerton (April 6, 1903 – January 4, 1990) was a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is largely credited with transforming the stroboscope from an obscure laboratory instrument into a common device. Edgerton teamed up with Kenneth J. Germeshausen to do consulting work with different industrial clients. Later Herbert Grier joined them. The company name "Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier" was changed to EG&G in 1947. EG&G became a prime contractor for the Atomic Energy Commission and had a major role in photographing and recording nuclear tests for the United States through the fifties and sixties. For this role Edgerton and Charles Wykoff and others at EG&G developed and manufactured the Rapatronic camera. School St not far from the Burbank grade school I believe from memory.
William Yandell Elliott, Harvard Professor of Government. Lived upper Concord Avenue, small house on your left going up the hill. Rhodes Scholar, poet, counselor to six Presidents, vice-chair of the War Production Board for civilian requirements, dean of the Harvard Summer School, and founder, with his protege, Henry Kissinger, of the Harvard International Seminar. I took his course, Government 1a in my freshman year.
Rupert EMERSON (August 20, 1899, in Rye, NY – February 9, 1979, in Cambridge, MA) was a professor of political science and international relations. He served on the faculty of Harvard University for forty-three years and served in various U.S government positions. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1917–18, he received a B.A. from Harvard University in 1922, then a Ph.D. at the London School of Economics in 1927. He was a member of the American Political Science Association, the Association for Asian Studies (president, 1952–53), the African Studies Association  (president, 1965–66), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Emerson was on the faculty of Harvard University from 1927 until his retirement in 1970. A specialist on nationalism in Asia and Africa, he often guest lectured at universities in East Africa. He was an instructor at Harvard from 1927–31; assistant professor, 1931–38; associate professor of political science, 1938–46; professor of international relations, 1946–70; emeritus professor of political science, 1970-79. He was a lecturer at Yale University, 1937–38; a visiting professor of political science at University of California, Berkeley, 1953–54, and 1973, at University of California, Los Angeles, 1965–71, and at the American University in Cairo, 1972. He served in various U.S. government posts in Washington, DC, 1941-46. He served as a constitutional advisor to the Korean government in 1962. He also served as a trustee of the Institute of Pacific Relations.
Louis FIESER - Harvard organic chemist -erstwhile father of Napalm. Lived on Pinehurst Rd. http://orgsyn.org/obits/fieser.pdf http://orgsyn.org/obits/fieser.pdf
ERWIN GRISWOLD, "Erwin Nathaniel Griswold (July 14, 1904 – November 19, 1994) was an appellate attorney who argued many cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Griswold served as Solicitor General of the United States (1967–1973) under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. He also served as Dean of Harvard Law School for 21 years. Several times he was considered for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. During a career that spanned more than six decades, he served as member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and as President of the American Bar Foundation." Wikipedia
HAZEN Harold Locke Hazen (August 1,1901-February 21, 1980) was an American electrical engineer. He contributed to the theory of servomechanisms and feedback control systems. In 1924 under the lead of Vannevar Bush, Hazen and his fellow undergraduate Hugh H. Spencer built a prototype AC network analzyer, a special-purpose analog computer for solving problems in interconnected AC power systems. Hazen also worked with Bush over twenty years on such projects as the mechanical differential analyzser. http://www.answers.com/topic/harold-locke-hazen#ixzz2iKIkTrKW
Martha HAZEN's life long contributions to astronomy were recognized by Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory colleagues through the naming of an asteroid, (10024) Marthahazen in her honor. NASA commended astronomer, PHD, long time curator of Harvard Observatory.
FREDERICK MERK, Harvard History Professor. Kathy BHS'50, Fred jr. BHS '54. taught a very popular and well regarded course on the history of the westward movement in the US. He published little while active, Charles Parsons read and was impressed by a couple of things he wrote in retirement. He lived on Village Hill Road. A Harvard classmate, Marty Klein, also came to live there and remembered Merk as a neighbor, particularly his vigor in old age. http://www.vqronline.org/articles/1978/summer/blum-celebration/
C. Frederick Mosteller, an eminent statistician. He came to Harvard in Social Relations (around 1948, I think) but in the late 50s founded the Department of Statistics and toward the end of his career worked in the School of Public Health. He died in the early 2000s. He has two children who went to BHS, probably just before 1970.
William Fogg Osgood (March 10, 1864, Boston - July 22, 1943, Belmont, Massachusetts) was an American mathematician, born in Boston. In 1886, he graduated from Harvard, where, after studying at the universities of Göttingen (1887–1889) and Erlangen (Ph.D., 1890), he was instructor (1890–1893), assistant professor (1893–1903), and thenceforth professor of mathematics. He became professor emeritus in 1933. Osgood was chairman of the department of mathematics in Harvard from 1918 to 1922. From 1899 to 1902, he served as editor of the Annals of Mathematics and in 1904–1905 was president of the American Mathematical Society, whose Transactions he edited in 1909–1910. In 1904, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. The works of Osgood dealt with complex analysis, in particular conformal mapping and uniformization of analytic functions, and calculus of variations. He was invited by Felix Klein to write an article on complex analysis in the Enzyklopädie der mathematischen Wissenschaften which was later expanded in the book Lehrbuch der Funktionentheorie. Besides his research on analysis, Osgood was also interested in mathematical physics and wrote on the theory of the gyroscope. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Fogg_Osgood
TALCOTT PARSONS, huge article on wikipedia: "Talcott Parsons (December 13, 1902 – May 8, 1979) was an American sociologist who served on the faculty of Harvard University from 1927 to 1973." Educated at Amherst College, London School of Economics, U of Heidelberg. He started at Harvard in the Economics Department 1927 and moved to the new Sociology Department in 1931. 1946 formed Harvard's department of Social Relations." daughter Anne committed suicide at 33. Her brother Charles and I have exchanged emails. She did research in mental hospiitals in the Boston area
CHARLES DACRE PARSONS, (born April 13, 1933) is a distinguished contributor to the philosophy of mathematics and the study of the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Son of Talcott Parsons. Class of '50 BHS, of '54 Harvard College, Ph.D. Harvard University. Taught for many years at Columbia University before moving to Harvard University in 1989. Retired in 2005 as the Edgar Pierce professor of philosophy, In addition to his work in logic and the philosophy of mathematics, Parsons was an editor, of the posthumous works of Kurt Gödel. He has also written on historical figures, especially Immanuel Kant, Gottlob Frege, Kurt Gödel, and Willard van Orman Quine. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Source wikipedia. I have known him from 7th grade through Harvard. Charles Parsons, as an adult did not live in Belmont, even when on the Harvard Faculty, 1962-65 and 1989-2005.
PISTON, Walter Hamor. Jr, (January 20, 1894 to November 12, 1976), was an American composer of classical music, music theorist and professor of music at Harvard University from 1926-1960. Entered Harvard in 1920 after 2 years in Paris, service in US Navy band and technical education and employment. Among his many students who became established musician were Leroy Anderson, Leonard Bernstein and Elliott Carter. I am curious as to where he lived in Belmont.
REISCHAUER, Edwin O. from Wikipedia: "Edwin Oldfather Reischauer (October 15, 1910 – September 1, 1990) was an American educator and professor at Harvard University. He was a leading scholar of the history and culture of Japan and East Asia. From 1961 to 1966, he served as the United States Ambassador to Japan." source wikipedia. I took the full year course he taught with John Fairbank, called "rice paddies". I used to see him mowing his lawn near Belmont Jr high on Washington St.
SMITHIES, professor. Arthur Smithies (1907-1981), economist, was born on 12 December 1907 at Lindisfarne, Hobart, son of Tasmanian-born parents John Smithies, accountant, and his wife Hilda Annie, née Stephenson. Frederick Smithies was his uncle. Educated at The Hutchins School, and the University of Tasmania (LL.B, 1929), Arthur won the James Backhouse Walker prize for proficiency in 1928. He was named the Tasmanian Rhodes scholar for 1929 and entered Magdalen College, Oxford (BA, 1932), where he studied philosophy, politics and economics. Finding England ‘too structured’, he took up a Commonwealth Fund fellowship in the United States of America, graduating with a PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1934. An instructor in economics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he married Katharine Hermione Ripman, an Oxford graduate, there on 22 February 1935. In July 1935 Smithies was appointed assistant-economist to (Sir) Roland Wilson in the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, Canberra. Returning to the USA in 1938, he became professor of economics at the University of Michigan. He was naturalised and in 1943 joined the advisory staff of the Bureau of the Budget in Washington, DC, heading its economic section. In charge of the Economic Cooperation Administration’s program division in 1948, he played a key role in the management of the Marshall Plan. Smithies was appointed professor of economics at Harvard University in 1948; he was chairman (1950-55, 1959-61) of the economics department. In 1957 he became the Nathaniel Ropes professor of political economy. An unorthodox teacher, he had a breezy manner and would ‘think out loud’ rather than lecture, but he stimulated debate among his students and taught them to analyse policies to their logical end. In 1965-74 he was master of Kirkland House. A prolific writer, Smithies contributed numerous articles to journals such as Econometrica and the American Economic Review. He was an advocate of Keynesian theories and policies; his research concentrated on macroeconomics and the US budgetary process, but he also wrote authoritatively on a wide range of topics from location theory to Schumpeterian economics. His Federal Budget and Fiscal Policy (1948) was the standard source on the budget for twenty years. In 1955 he published Economics and Public Policy and the influential Budgetary Process in the United States. Editor (1957-65) of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, he was the founder in 1962 of the Journal of Economic Abstracts (later Journal of Economic Literature). In 1963 he wrote Economic Stability in Australia. Source Wikipedia
SNEGIREFF, Dr. Leonid S. Joined the faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health and brought his family to Belmont (Radcliffe Rd). He was well known as one of the first to recognize the link between the tar in cigarette smoke and cancer....especially carcinoma of the lung. son Sergei class '54
DIRK STRUICK, Glendale RD, Wikipedia : "Dirk Jan Struik (September 30, 1894 – October 21, 2000) was a Dutch mathematician and Marxian theoretician who spent most of his life in the United States.In 1926 Struik was offered positions both at the Moscow State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He decided to accept the latter, where he spent the rest of his academic career. He collaborated with Norbert Wiener on differential geometry, while continuing his research on the history of mathematics. He was made full professor at MIT in 1940." Source Wikipedia
GWENDOLYN STRUIK, born in 1932, graduated from Antioch College married in 1961, after she finished her PhD in 1960 and was teaching at Wheaton College, Massachusetts. Roger recognized her sharp mind for ecology, as well as the influence of her father, a famous Dutch mathematician and Marx scholar at MIT. Gwen’s research was on the integration of understory components in Wisconsin forests, the next phase of the Curtis plan for plant ecology in Wisconsin (Struik 1965). Source Wikipedia. Sometime in the 1960s she and her husband emigrated to New Zealand. Charles Parsons was able to find out a little about her life there. She and her husband continued as plant ecologists, and she at least was an environmental activist.
NORBERT WEINER, Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894 – March 18, 1964) was an American mathematician and philosopher. He was Professor of Mathematics at MIT. A famous child prodigy, Wiener later became an early researcher in stochastic and noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronic engineering, electronic communication, and control systems. Wiener is considered the originator of cybernetics, a formalization of the notion of feedback, with many implications for engineering, systems control, computer science, biology, philosophy, and the organization of society.one daughter committed suicide. Source Wikipedia, first class character, used to meet him out walking before 1941.
Harald Westergaard, submitted by Charles Parsons. Professor in some engineering field. I didn't know him but knew well for a time his son Peter (BHS '49, Harvard '53), who was Anne Parson's first serious boy friend. He was a budding composer. When I came to Columbia he was assistant professor of music there, but he soon left for Princeton and remained there for the rest of his career. He is now emeritus.
Fred Lawrence WHIPPLE (November 5, 1906 – August 30, 2004) was an American astronomer, who worked at the Harvard College Observatory for over 70 years. Amongst his achievements, he discovered some asteroids and comets, came up with the "dirty snowball" cometary hypothesis, and designed the Whipple shield. Whipple was born on November 5, 1906, in Red Oak, Iowa, as the son of a farmer. An early bout with polio ended his ambition of being a professional tennis player. Whipple studied at Occidental College in Southern California, then majored in mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles, graduating in 1927. Recollecting his path from mathematics to astronomy, Whipple stated in a 1978 autobiography that his "mathematics major veered [him] through physics and finally focused on astronomy where time, space, mathematics, and physics had a common meeting ground." After taking a class in astronomy, he enlisted at the University of California, Berkeley where he obtained his PhD in Astronomy in 1931. While in graduate school, he helped map the orbit of the newly discovered planet Pluto. He joined Harvard College Observatory in 1931 and studied the trajectories of meteors, confirming that they originated within the solar system rather than from interstellar space. In 1933, he discovered the periodic comet 36P/Whipple and the asteroid 1252 Celestia. He also discovered or co-discovered five other non-periodic comets, the first of which was C/1932 P1 Peltier-Whipple, independently discovered by the famed amateur astronomer Leslie Peltier. During World War II, he invented a device for cutting tinfoil into chaff to confuse enemy radar tracking Allied aircraft. He was awarded a Certificate of Merit for this in 1948. He also invented a "meteoroid bumper" or "Whipple shield", which protects spacecraft from impact by small particles by vaporizing them. From 1950 until 1977 he was a professor of Astronomy at Harvard University, including being the Phillips Professor of Astronomy between 1968 and 1977. During these years (in the early 1950s), he wrote a series of influential papers entitled A Comet Model, published in Astrophysical Journal. In these papers, he proposed the "icy conglomerate" hypothesis of comet composition (later called the "dirty snowball" hypothesis). The basic features of this hypothesis were later confirmed, however the exact amount (and thus the importance) of ices in a comet is an active field of research, with most of the recently obtained data pointing to a low contribution of ices to a comet's mass (dubbed the "icy dirtball" hypothesis). He also anticipated the era of artificial satellites and organized the members of Operation Moonwatch to track them. These groups were the only ones prepared and ready to make observations when the Soviet Union unexpectedly launched Sputnik I in 1957. He became director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory when Loyal Blaine Aldrich retired in 1955, and remained in this post until 1973.source wikipedia
Donald D.WILLIAMS. the geosynchronous communications satellite "...one of the longest and most complex patent cases in the country. At the core of the dispute is a satellite system invented in 1959 by a Hughes engineer, Donald Williams. He developed a simple method to control the position and spin of a satellite relative to the earth and the sun. The system made it possible to thrust a satellite from an orbit several hundred miles up into a geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles in space, where a satellite appears to maintain a fixed position over the rotating earth. Mr. Williams's invention was used in 1963 on the first geosynchronous satellite successfully launched, Syncom 2, and on some satellites used in low-earth orbits, like the Atmospheric Explorers. "http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/18/business/gm-dealt-setback-on-hughes.html Nobel Prizes have been given for less. One of LIfe Magazine's Ten Outstanding Young Men Of The Year committed suicide while in his thirties. Prospect St. I knew him from hot rod building and being a neighbor of Jimmy Rollins, my class, whose father was a dean at Harvard Business School.
His father: Harvard faculty member, Donald C. Williams, 1899-1982, was professor of philosophy at Harvard from (I think) 1939 until his retirement. He was a metaphysician of a realist tendency. I know of two books of his, The Ground of Induction, published sometime in the 1940s, and Principles of Empirical Realism, a collection of essays that contains a couple of pieces that are still read today. He lived on Prospect Street. His son's suicide was in 1966. I think he was 34. (contributed by Charles D. Parsons)
The eminent philosopher W. V. Quine lived in Belmont for a time after his second marriage but then bought a house on Beacon Hill, where he lived for the rest of his life.
Jerrold Zacharias, a physicist at MIT came to Belmont after the war, and his daughter Susan was Anne Parsons best friend in her last year of high school.
Burton Dreben, a logician and philosopher who was Charles Parson's Ph. D. supervisor. He lived in Belmont from 1956 until he split with his wife in 1989. He was on the Harvard faculty from 1956 until his retirement in 1990. His wife, Raya Spegel Dreben, a lawyer, eventually became a judge on the Massachusetts Court of Appeals. (Burton Dreben died in 1999.)
Contributions to date from Ed Rice, BHS '49, Charles Parsons BHS '50 and the website of BHS '54. More are welcome.
author and website manager, Joe Nix, BHS '50, Harvard '54.
email Joe Nix
Return to my site index