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Campbell, William Wallace

Born: 1862 AD
Died: 1938 AD, at 76 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Astronomers, Educators


1862 - William Wallace Campbell was born on the 11th of April in Hancock County, Ohio. Amercian astronomer known particularly for his spectrographic determinations of the radial velocities of stars.

1886 - He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in engineering, but the reading of Newcomb's Popular Astronomy and work as a student assistant in the university observatory under John M. Schaeberle had turned him toward astronomy as a career.

1888 - He returned to the University of Michigan as instructor in astronomy to succeed Schaeberle, who had gone to the newly-opened Lick Observatory.

1890 - Campbell studied astrophysics with James E. Keeler at the Lick Observatory.

1892 - Married to Elizabeth Ballard Thompson.

1900 - He was director of Lick Observatory.

1901 - Campbell was then appointed director upon the unanimous recommendation of 12 of the leading astronomers of the world.

1902 - The honorary degree of LL.D. was awarded to him by the University of Michigan.

1906 - Awarded the Henry Draper Medal.

         - Received the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

1909 - He was appointed Silliman Lecturer at Yale.

1915 - He was awarded with the Bruce Medal.

1923 - Served as President of the University of California.

1924 - He discovered many spectroscopic binary stars, and he published a catalog listing more than 1,000 of them.

1930 - Campbell retired from the Presidency and the directorship of Lick Observatory upon reaching the age of 68.

1931-1935 - Became the president of National Academy of Sciences.

         - He was elected president of the National Academy of Sciences and steered it skillfully through four financially critical years.

1938 - He committed suicide and died on 14th of June in San Francisco, California.

         - He catalogue the radial velocities of stars.

         - Campbell crater on the Moon named after him.


Page last updated: 10:36am, 13th Sep '07