December 27, 1915–August 13, 1998
BY ANTHONY E. SIEGMAN
EDWARD L. GINZTON’S MULTIFACETED career spanned an era of immense technological advances in physics, electronics, and microwaves—and of important advances in social and political issues. Throughout his long and productive life his remarkable combination of scientific skills, leadership qualities, technological foresight, and community concerns enabled him to make distinguished technical contributions and to build enduring institutions in which others could make such contributions as well.
Ginzton’s scientific career began in the late 1930s when he helped develop the understanding of feedback in early vacuum tube amplifiers and worked with the pioneers who invented the klystron. It continued through his leadership in developing modern microwave technologies and megawatt-level klystron tubes during and after World War II, and in helping make possible the development of linear electron accelerators both as mile-long “atom smashers” and as medical tools still in use worldwide for cancer radiation therapy. His abilities eventually led him to take distinguished roles in both the academic and industrial worlds and in local and national community service as well.