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John G. Bolton

AKA John Gatenby Bolton

Born: 5-Jun-1922
Birthplace: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Died: 6-Jul-1993
Location of death: Buderim, Queensland, Australia
Cause of death: Pneumonia
Remains: Cremated (ashes scattered at Parkes Observatory, Australia)

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

Nationality: Australia
Executive summary: First Director of Parkes Observatory

Military service: Royal Navy (WWII)

Astronomer John G. Bolton oversaw construction of CalTech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory, then served several years as the observatory's director. Leaving CalTech, he performed the same tasks on a larger scale at the Parkes Observatory in Australia, building the facility and earning the nickname "Dishmaster" as its director. At Parkes, Bolton identified the first extragalactic radio sources, studied solar flares, cloud physics, and quasars, and surveyed much of the southern sky. In 1969, he coordinated Parkes' relay of televised images from the first lunar landing, even as an unexpected local storm blasted the area with windgusts of 68 miles per hour -- roughly triple the observatory's tested limits. Fictionalized for cinema, Parkes' role in the moon landing was the basis for the 2000 film The Dish.

Wife: Letty Leslie Bolton (m. 1950, two stepsons)
Son: Brian Leslie Bolton (stepson)
Son: Peter Leslie Bolton (stepson)

    High School: King Edward VII School, Sheffield, England
    University: PhD, Cambridge University
    Scholar: Radiophysics, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (1946-55)
    Professor: Astronomy, California Institute of Technology (1955-60)
    Administrator: Director of Owens Valley Radio Observatory, California Institute of Technology (1955-60)
    Scholar: Astronomer, Parkes Observatory (1960-81)
    Administrator: Director of Parkes Observatory (1960-72)

    Bruce Medal 1988
    Commander of the British Empire 1982
    Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal 1977
    American Astronomical Society
    Australian Academy of Science (resigned 1980)
    International Astronomical Union VP (1973-79)
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Associate
    Royal Astronomical Society
    Royal Society
    Naturalized Australian Citizen
    Asteroid Namesake 12140 Johnbolton


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