May 28, 1897–April 12, 1989
BY TRUMAN P. KOHMAN
JOHN C. WARNER, ALMOST universally known to friends and even professional associates as “Jake,” was proficient as a scientist, an educator, and an administrator. He was affiliated for most of his career with the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and as president he was responsible for its growth to the status of a major technological and research university, preparing the way for its metamorphosis into Carnegie-Mellon University. In addition, he was prominent in many civic activities of Pittsburgh and in many national and international scientific activities.
Jake, born on May 28, 1897, on a farm near Goshen, Indiana, was the second of five children of Elias and Addie Warner. His grandfather William Warner emigrated from Saxony about 1850, settled in Indiana, and married Elizabeth Enders. His father operated a farm and in winters worked as logger and lumberman. When Jake was eight his father died. He recalled, “Mother, who was left with few financial assets, was a loving, determined person who convinced us of the work ethic and somehow kept her family together.” Jake and his older brother worked before and after school and during summers.
His mother, Addie Plank Warner, had been a country schoolteacher before marriage, and was always a source of encouragement for scholarly achievement. His primary edu-