BY HERMAN FESHBACH
DURING HIS LIFETIME, Philip McCord Morse was at times a researcher, educator, author, pioneer, a statesman of science, and an administrator. He filled all these roles with distinction in a career replete with accomplishments of importance not only for science for also for society. The high regard in which he was held is indicated by his election to the presidency of the American Physical Society, the Acoustical Society of America, and the Operations Research Society of America. He was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal for Merit, recognition of his extraordinary service during World War II.
Philip M. Morse was born on August 6, 1903, at Shreveport, Louisiana. The family shortly afterward moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Morse spent his youth, graduating from the Case School of Applied Science (now part of Case-Western Reserve University) in 1926. The family on both sides was from Ohio. His great-great-grandfather founded the town of Kirtland, east of Cleveland in the early nineteenth century. His mother was a reporter on the newspaper edited by her father in East Liverpool, Ohio. His father was a telephone engineer who worked in telephone-system construction. They married in 1901.
It surely was easier in 1921 but still it is most revealing.