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Childhood in New York; high school experience at Horace Mann; Harvard undergraduate at the age of 15. Impressions of ordeal with Harlow Shapley. Depression years in the family business, return to a very changed Harvard in 1934. Thesis work on Interstellar Absorption (Bart Bok), Ph.D. 1937. Postdoc at Yerkes Observatory (Otto Struve) working on Upsilon Sagittarius. Develops the 140-degree camera (the Greenstein-Louis G. Henyey camera); work with Fred Whipple on radio signals from space (Karl Jansky, Grote Reber), Greenstein and Reber’s review article on classified radio detection work during World War II. Founding of the Astrophysics Department at Caltech. Radio astronomy in the mid-1950s. Work on white dwarfs from 1957 on. Own accomplishments as scientist and in personal life. Impressions of Martin Schwarzschild, Shapley, Reber, Fred Hoyle. Also prominently mentioned are: Walter Sydney Adams, Lloyd Viel Berkner, John Bolton, Leverett Davis, William Alfred Fowler, Leo Goldberg, Louis Henyey, Fred Hoyle, Edwin Powell Hubble, Milton Lasell Humason, Robert Hutchins, Karl Jansky, Gerard Peter Kuiper, Tom R. Matthews, Robert Reynolds McMath, Donald Howard Menzel, Paul Merrill, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, William Wilson Morgan, Guido Munch, Beverly Oke, Donald Osterbrock, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Harry Hemley Plaskett, Robert Richardson, Allan Sandage, Jan Scheldt, Shklovsky, Charlotte Moore Sitterly, Lyman Spitzer, Edward Teller, Richard Chace Tolman, Robert Julius Trumpler, Merle Antony Tuve, Albrecht Otto Johannes Unsold, Immanuel Velikofsky, Frederick Whipple; Carnegie Institution of Washington, Hale Observatories, Harvard College Observatory, Lick Observatory, McDonald Observatory, McDonald Observatory Nebular spectrograph, National Science Foundation (U.S.), 100-inch Telescope, University of Chicago, and Vista Project.
Childhood and father's influence; high school in Washington, DC. Enters Washington & Lee University, 1923; becomes assistant at Yerkes Observatory, 1926, while continuing courses; B.S., 1927. Marriage to Helen Barrett. Contacts with Otto Struve, Mario Schoenberg, Dmitri Mihalis. Invention of UBV system; work on A-type stars, MK system, Ph.D. Work during 1930s on effects of metals in spectra; revision of HR Diagram, work on "spottedness" of stellar surface; changes of interest, paper on two-dimensional arrays, 1937. Problems of promotion and tenure at University of Chicago. Struve's administration, departure, and experiences at National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Decision to stay at Yerkes; effects of World War II, including Yerkes Optical Bureau and Greenstein-Henyey camera. Work on spiral arms, work with Walter Baade, William Pendry Bidelman, Jason Nassau; use of Case Schmidt telescope, and Case Survey for OB stars; paper on "natural groups"; recognition of spiral arms, 1951; physical collapse, 1952. Yerkes administration under Struve, Bengt Strömgren, 1950-1957, and Gerard Kuiper. Problems at Kitt Peak. Editor at Astrophysical Journal until 1952. Work with William Pendry Bidelman, Harold Johnson on UBV system. Associate at Lick, 1955; interest in forms of galaxies and classification schemes. Visiting professor at Caltech, 1956; contacts at Mt. Wilson; Edwin P. Hubble. Recognition of supergiant galaxies, 1960. Alfred Joy's review of Yerkes Spectral Atlas. Director of Yerkes, 1960-1963; creation of Astronomy Department at University of Texas; plans for Southern Hemisphere Observatory, eventually taken over by Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy. Younger staff departs Yerkes, courses moved to Chicago. Chairman of Astronomy Department, 1960-1966. Wife's illness and death; own illness in 1966. Also prominently mentioned are: Nathaniel Apter, Geoffrey R. Burbidge, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, G. K. Chesterson, Agatha Christie, Louis Henyey, Lou Hobbs, Henry James, Phillip Keenan, Oliver J. Lee, Aden Meinel, H. R. Morgan, Henry Norris Russell, Alice Weatherspoon, Benjamin Wooten; Marvin College, McDonald Observatory, and Sky and Telescope.