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Clinton B. Ford

Clinton B. FordClinton B. Ford, born in 1913, graduated from the University of Michigan and was a Navy veteran of the Second World War. His chief interests were the stock market, music, and astronomy. In the first area he built upon his inheritance so well that he could become a generous philanthropist; in the second he was an able violinist and violist and member of the Stamford, Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. At the age of sixteen he became the youngest member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, and eventually contributed over 62,000 observations. He also taught astronomy courses at Brown University and Smith College. He served for many years as secretary of the AAVSO and made many contributions to their success, and was also a fellow of the American Astronomical Society and a member of the Optical Society of America. Ford was widely known and admired not only for his own indefatigable work on variable stars, but also for his generous support of others' efforts in astronomy, music and other fields.

On Ford's death in 1992, the AIP Center for History of Physics received a gift of $200,000 from his estate, and used it to establish a Clinton B. Ford Endowment. The income is used for projects in the history of physics and allied sciences with preference for projects in the history of astronomy. The first project supported from the income was expansion of work on the Center's International Catalog of Sources for the History of Physics and Allied Sciences to include a more complete coverage of archival records documenting the history of modern astronomy.

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