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DAVID ROCKWELL GODDARD
January 3, 1908–July 9, 1985
BY RALPH O. ERICKSON
DAVID R. GODDARD had an eminent career as a plant physiologist, as an educator, and as a university administrator. His advice was frequently sought in matters of national importance.
FAMILY BACKGROUND AND EARLY EDUCATION
Goddard was able to trace his male ancestry in America back six generations to William Goddard (1628-91), a merchant who left London with his wife and children after they had lost all their possessions in the great fire of 1666 and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. In England another five generations can be traced. Goddard's mother's family, the Rockwells, also trace their descent from an ancestor who settled in present New York state before the American Revolution. He is related in some way to Robert H. Goddard (“rocket Goddard”), the pioneer investigator of rocket propulsion; to Maurice Goddard, who as a longterm Pennsylvania state official was a leader in environmental matters (Department of Environmental Resources); and to H. H. Goddard, the early and perhaps misguided advocate of the Binet test of intelligence, whom Dave sometimes jokingly referred to as the “feebleminded Goddard.”