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Alfred Lee Loomis

Born: 4-Nov-1887
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 1-Aug-1975
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist, Business, Inventor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Millionaire scientist

Military service: US Army (WWI, to Major)

Alfred Lee Loomis was a wealthy investment banker whose philosophy was to remain as liquid as possible, and as a result he made it through the 1929 stock market crash largely unscathed. When not playing the financial markets, his hobby was science -- he invented an artillery chronograph to measure muzzle velocity of fired shells, and patented an early electroencephalograph. He conducted experiments and research into such topics as sound waves, spectrometry, and the very exact measurement of time, doing all of his work at a lavish laboratory on the grounds of his estate in Tuxedo Park, New York.

His cousin was Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, and from his scientific work and underwriting he counted Vannevar Bush, Robert W. Wood, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. among his friends. On the basis of this and an advanced (for its time) microwave radar set Loomis had designed and installed in a motor vehicle, he was asked to head the National Defense Research Committee's microwave radar project. His funding, connections, and not insignificant scientific work were instrumental in the development of more advanced radar that gave Allied forces a military advantage during World War II. He was also involved in development of the centrifuge microscope, and attended preliminary meetings of the Manhattan Project.

While already married, Loomis had a long affair with his best friend's wife, Manette Hobart, and they married the same day that his divorce from his first wife was finalized. His son, Alfred Loomis Jr., won a gold medal in the yachting competition in the 1948 Olympics. Another son, Henry Loomis, was appointed by Richard M. Nixon to head the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the 1970s. His grandfather, Alfred Lebbeus Loomis, was a physician of moderate renown, and Alfred Lee Loomis was a great-uncle of Julie Stimson Thorne, the first wife of US Senator John Kerry.

Father: Henry Patterson Loomis (professor of medicine, b. 1859, d. 1907)
Mother: Julia Stimson Loomis (b. 1861, m. 1887)
Wife: Elizabeth Ellen Farnsworth Loomis ("Betty", d. 1975)
Son: Alfred Lee Loomis, Jr. (venture capitalist, d. 1994)
Son: Henry Loomis (President of Corporation for Public Broadcasting, b. circa 1919)
Son: William Farnsworth Loomis ("Farney", biochemist, b. 1914, d. 1973)
Wife: Manette Seeldrayers Hobart Loomis Christie (d. 1991)

    High School: Phillips Academy Andover (1905)
    University: BA, Yale University (1909)
    Law School: LLD, Harvard Law School (1912)

    American Astronomical Society
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Chemical Society
    American Philosophical Society
    American Physical Society
    IEEE
    National Academy of Sciences
    RAND Corporation Consultant
    Royal Astronomical Society
    National Defense Research Committee
    Manhattan Project


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