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William W. Campbell

AKA William Wallace Campbell

Born: 11-Apr-1862
Birthplace: Hancock County, OH
Died: 14-Jun-1938
Location of death: San Francisco, CA
Cause of death: Suicide

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

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Stellar Motions

Astronomer William W. Campbell worked at Lick Observatory under James E. Keeler, before becoming the Observatory's director. He cataloged stars using the then-new technology of astronomical spectroscopy, and discovered numerous binary stars. He headed a 1922 expedition to Australia to observe and photograph a solar eclipse, and made headlines when his findings from the trip were interpreted as supporting Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. Suffering advancing blindness and difficulty with speech following a stroke, he was 76 years of age when he leapt to his death from a fourth-story window in San Francisco.

Father: Robert Wilson Campbell (farmer, d. 1866)
Mother: Harriet Welsh Campbell
Wife: Elizabeth Ballard Thompson Campbell (dated 1888-92, m. 28-Dec-1892)f
Son: Wallace Campbell
Son: Douglas Campbell
Son: Kenneth Campbell

    High School: Central High School, Fostoria, OH
    University: BS Engineering, University of Michigan (1886)
    Professor: Mathematics, University of Colorado (1886-88)
    Teacher: Astronomy, University of Michigan (1888-91)
    Scholar: Lick Observatory, University of California at Santa Cruz (1890-1900)
    Administrator: Director of Lick Observatory, University of California at Santa Cruz (1900-30)
    Administrator: President, University of California at Berkeley (1923-30)

    Bruce Medal 1915
    Henry Draper Medal 1906
    Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal 1906
    American Association for the Advancement of Science President (1915)
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Astronomical Society President (1922-25)
    American Philosophical Society
    Astronomical Society of the Pacific President (1895, 1910, 1918)
    International Astronomical Union Vice President (1922-25)
    National Academy of Sciences President (1931-35)
    Royal Society
    Lunar Crater Campbell
    Asteroid Namesake 2751 Campbell
    Stroke
    Scottish Ancestry (paternal)

Author of books:
Stellar Motions (1913)


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