Hale, George Ellery, 1868-1938
- Existence: 1868 - 1938
Born in Chicago in 1868, George Ellery Hale received his B.S. from MIT in 1890. Active in the development of astrophysics, he quickly established a distinguished scientific reputation for his invention of the spectroheliograph. He made important contributions to the study of solar phenomena, organized and coedited the Astrophysical Journal, and was the leading figure in the design, funding and construction of the Kenwood, Yerkes, Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories. Hale was also exceedingly energetic in the organization and promotion of the enterprise of science, both at home and abroad. In the United States he played a highly influential role in the National Academy of Sciences. He revivified the Academy almost single-handedly by organizing the National Research Council, obtaining substantial endowment for the NAS, and establishing the critically important National Research Council Fellowships. A founder of the International Union of Cooperation in Solar Research, Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, and a frequent delegate to the International Association of Academies, he became deeply involved in the international relations of science before the First World War. Instrumental in the establishment of the International Research Council after the war, he was president of its successor, the International Council of Scientific Unions from 1931 to 1934. Hale settled in Pasadena, California in 1904 to assume the duties of Director of the newly established Mount Wilson Observatory and became deeply involved in the educational and cultural affairs of the area. Among his most important efforts were the creation and development of the California Institute of Technology and the Huntington Library.