September 21, 1901–January 23, 1994


LEE A. DUBRIDGE WAS born in Terre Haute, Indiana, on September 21, 1901; he died of pneumonia at age ninety-two in a retirement home in Duarte, California, on January 23, 1994. To quote the memoir by John D. Roberts and Harold Brown, DuBridge was "one of the most influential American scientists of the 20th century. He was a first-rate physicist, a leader in research of immense importance to the Allied victory in World War II, an exemplary research university president in a time of enormous scientific, societal, and educational change, as well as an influential statesman for science in the postwar era."1

Lee directed the MIT radar lab (1940–45), was president of Caltech (1946–69), and advised the government and military throughout his long career. He received the King's Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom, the U.S. Medal for Merit, and the Vannevar Bush Award of the National Science Foundation. The Caltech trustees established the Lee Alvin DuBridge professorship.2

I will not attempt to describe his full career. He was a modest, eminently likable man, small in stature, but with strong presence. His conversation ranged from reminiscences

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