DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994

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Lee DuBridge was President of the California Institute of Technology from 1946-1969.

From the description of Space Research, 1958. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives). WorldCat record id: 733095203

DuBridge was President of Caltech.

From the description of No Shakeup in JPL Management Due, 1964 Feb. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives). WorldCat record id: 733096493

From the description of Confirmation of Conditions for Relations Between NASA and JPL : letter to Hugh Dryden, NASA, 1961 Feb 21. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives). WorldCat record id: 733095760

From the description of Objectives of the Space Program : text of speech, 1965 May. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives). WorldCat record id: 733099027

From the description of NASA-JPL Relationships : letter to T. Keith Glennan, NASA Administrator, 1959 Aug 14. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives). WorldCat record id: 733096432

Lee Alvin DuBridge (1901-1994). Physicist. Professor of Physics (Chair), University of Rochester (1934-1940) where he designed and oversaw construction of a (8MeV) cyclotron that led to the discovery of the proton-neutron (p-n) reaction; director of MIT's Radiation Laboratory (1940-1945); president, California Institute of Technology (1946-1969).

From the description of Papers, 1932-1986. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81192578

DuBridge was President of Caltech. Pickering was Director of JPL.

From the description of Transfer of JPL from Army Ordnance to NASA : press release, Joint Statement by DuBridge and Pickering, 1958. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives). WorldCat record id: 733095994

Biography

Lee Alvin DuBridge, president of the California Institute of Technology from 1946 to 1969, was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, on September 21, 1901. He majored in physics at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and received his PhD in 1926 from the University of Wisconsin. The subject of his thesis, the photoelectric effect, continued to occupy him during his first postdoctoral years, initially as a National Research Council fellow at Caltech under Robert A. Millikan (1926-1928), and subsequently as assistant professor of physics at Washington University, St. Louis. DuBridge co-authored Photoelectric Phenomena (1932) with Arthur L. Hughes, chairman of physics at Washington University, and later published his own book, New Theories of the Photoelectric Effect, in 1935.

Meanwhile, in 1934, DuBridge was recruited to be the new chairman of the physics department at the University of Rochester. There he and S. W. Barnes designed and oversaw construction of an eight-million electron-volt (8 MeV) cyclotron, the most powerful instrument of its kind in the United States at that time, and only the third in existence--the other two were located at Berkeley and Princeton. The cyclotron led to their discovery of the proton-neutron (p-n) reaction.

In the fall of 1940 DuBridge was called to a still larger scientific and administrative enterprise: the founding directorship of MIT's Radiation Laboratory (the "Rad Lab"). At this time, the importance of radar to military achievements had already been demonstrated in Europe. The Rad Lab would be responsible for the development and manufacture of most of the Allied forces radar capability for the remainder of World War II. Several accounts of the Rad Lab have been published, most significant among these Henry Guerlac's Radar in World War II (1987). Researchers should also consult DuBridge's own unpublished memoir of his time at the Rad Lab at the Caltech Archives and the diary of his London trip in 1943 in his papers. In 1942 DuBridge was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

After the war, DuBridge returned to Rochester, but his stay was to be brief. He was soon persuaded by Max Mason, his former professor from University of Wisconsin and a Caltech trustee, to take on the presidency of Caltech as successor to Robert A. Millikan. In the twenty-two years that he was to occupy this position, DuBridge left an indelible mark on Caltech. He began with solving the multitude of problems attending the transition of the Institute from wartime to postwar research. The hiring of new faculty, the procurement of federal sponsorship for basic scientific research, and the creation of a new administration were among these activities. In the latter category fell the recruitment of Robert F. Bacher to be chairman of the physics division and ultimately Caltech's first provost. During Bacher's tenure, Caltech's physics program was preeminent and boasted several resident Nobel laureates: Carl Anderson, Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann and William A. Fowler (Fowler received the prize in 1983 but did his Nobel-winning work in astrophysics during the Bacher-DuBridge years). DuBridge presided over the dedication of the 200-inch telescope on Mount Palomar--then the world's largest optical telescope--and the formation of the joint Caltech-Carnegie Institution of Washington council to run the Palomar and Mount Wilson observatories.

In 1952, Caltech began the building of its own one-billion electron-volt (1 BeV) synchrotron. Outside of physics DuBridge also promoted the expansion of other divisions. He supported new directions in biology, building from a strong foundation in genetics under Thomas Hunt Morgan and George Beadle to include molecular and behavioral biology, through the work of Max Delbürck and Roger Sperry (all four cited biologists were also Nobel laureates). To Caltech's programs in chemistry, geology and planetary science, and in engineering DuBridge brought new financial and administrative support, new faculty and new ideas. Under his leadership, Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was converted to the peacetime business of unmanned space exploration and transferred to the newly created NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), while retaining Caltech's management.

DuBridge was active in many professional, educational and civic organizations. He also held prominent posts in Washington, beginning with his tenure on and eventual chairmanship of the Presidential Science Advisory Committee (PSAC) in both the Truman and Eisenhower administrations (1951-1958). Upon his retirement from Caltech in 1969, he was called back to Washington by President Richard Nixon to serve as his science advisor (1969-1970).

Lee DuBridge was married to Doris Koht DuBridge, and they had two children. After his wife's death in 1973, he married Arrola Bush Cole. DuBridge died of pneumonia in Duarte, California, just east of Pasadena, on January 23, 1994, at the age of 92. His admirable personal and intellectual qualities made him effective both as a leader and as an eloquent spokesman for science, technology and education. He has been called by one Caltech trustee "a towering figure in Caltech's history and in the world of science and engineering." For a fuller account of his life and science, including mention of advisory positions, board memberships and awards, readers should consult the Biographical Memoir by Jesse Greenstein (National Academy of Sciences, 1997).

Charlotte E. Erwin, Associate Archivist, July 2000

From the guide to the Lee A. DuBridge papers, 1932-1986, (California Institute of Technology. Archives.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn National Air and Space Museum. Dept. of Space History. The Rand History Project, 1985-1990. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Larsen, Valdemar C. Jr., 1902-1978. JPL Bulletins : 1944-1958. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994. Oral history interview with Lee A. DuBridge, 1987 March 6. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Lauritsen, Charles Christian, 1892-1968. Papers, 1927-1977 (Bulk 1946-1973) American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Greenstein, Jesse L. (Jesse Leonard), 1909-2002. Oral history interview with Jesse Leonard Greenstein, 1982 February 25, and March 16 and 23, 1982. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994. Interview with Dr. Lee A. DuBridge, President of California Institute of Technology, American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Beams, Jesse W. (Jesse Wakefield), 1898-1977. Selected correspondence, 1945-1949. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Dennison, David M. (David Mathias), 1900-1976. Informal moments, Summer Symposia at the University of Michigan [motion picture] / taken by David Dennison ; 1933-1937. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. Relationship problems between JPL and Caltech : letter to Lndley C. Morton, 1962 Apr 30. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Waterman, Alan Tower, 1892-1967. Alan Tower Waterman papers, 1917-1967 (bulk 1940-1963). Library of Congress
referencedIn Hill, A. G. (Albert Gordon), 1910-1996. Oral history interview with Albert Gordon Hill, 1982 June 25. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn I. I. Rabi Papers, 1899-1989, (bulk 1945-1968) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Edward U. Condon Papers, Circa 1920-1974 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. Confirmation of Conditions for Relations Between NASA and JPL : letter to Hugh Dryden, NASA, 1961 Feb 21. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Maurer, Robert Joseph, 1913-. Oral history interview with Robert Joseph Maurer, 1981 March 10 to 16. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Sherwin, Martin J. Martin J. Sherwin collection relating to J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1910-2006 (bulk 1931-2006). Library of Congress
referencedIn Bethe, Hans A. (Hans Albrecht), 1906-2005. Hans Bethe papers, [ca. 1931]-1992. Cornell University Library
creatorOf DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994. Radiation Laboratory Reunion [sound recording] / 1976 November. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Audiovisual Collection. 1957 - 2006. Photographs Relating to the Administration, Family, and Personal Life of Harry S. Truman. 1957 - 2004. Photograph of Princess Margaret at Caltech
referencedIn Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.). Photolab. NASA Head Visits Caltech , 1958 [photograph]. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf Records of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. 1939 - 1947. Historical Records
referencedIn Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974. Papers, ca. 1920-1974. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Webb, James E. 1906-1992. Caltech / JPL Effort on Martian Exploration and Voyager Missions : letter to Lee DuBridge, 1965 Mar. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. NASA-JPL Relationships : letter to T. Keith Glennan, NASA Administrator, 1959 Aug 14. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mid-Century Convocation on the Social Implications of Scientific Progress records, 1949, 1999 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections
creatorOf Pickering, William H., 1910-2004. William H. Pickering Speech Reference Collection, 1959-1974. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Richter, Charles, 1900-1985. Oral history interview with Charles F. Richter, 1978 February 15-September 1. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. Space Research, 1958. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf Bryant, John. Selected interviews with notes on the history of radar from the John Bryant collection. American Institute of Physics
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994,. Interview with Lee A. Dubridge / by R. Cargill Hall. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. Farewell address at JPL, January 9, 1969 : transcript by the JPL Historian, 1969 Feb 6. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. Caltech proud to contribute to the new national space program : joint statement, circa 1958. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. JPL / Caltech joint group report on objectives of the Mars exploration program : letter to James Webb, 1965 Feb 25. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Alan Tower Waterman Papers, 1917-1967, (bulk 1940-1963) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Records of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. 1939 - 1947. Correspondence. 1941 - 1945. L. A. DuBridge
referencedIn Bryant, John. John Bryant collection. American Institute of Physics
creatorOf Pickering, William H., 1910-2004. William H. Pickering Speech Collection, 1955-1975. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Glennan, Thomas Keith, 1905-1995,. Assessment of JPL : letter to Berney, 1973 Apr 23. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Papers, 1918-1993 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Hans Bethe papers, [ca. 1931]-1995 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994. Papers, 1932-1986. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn American Physical Society. New York State Section. Fall Meeting (1984 : Rochester, N.Y.). Symposium honoring Lee Alvin DuBridge [sound recording] / 1984 September 21-22. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Bush, Vannevar, 1890-1974. Oral history interview with Vannevar Bush, 1964. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Charles Christian Lauritsen papers, 1927-1977 California Institute of Technology. Archives.
referencedIn Archive for the History of Quantum Physics, 1898-1950 (bulk), 1898-1950 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Homer D. Crotty papers and addenda, 1859-2011 The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
referencedIn York, Herbert F. (Herbert Frank). Oral history interview with Herbert F. York, 1986 February 7. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Pickering, William H., 1910-2004. William H. Pickering Office File Collection, 1955-1976. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Marshak, Robert E. (Robert Eugene), 1916-1992. Oral history interview with Robert Marshak, 1970. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Greenstein, Jesse L. (Jesse Leonard), 1909-2002. Oral history interview with Jesse Leonard Greenstein, 1977 April 7 to 1978 May 19. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Newell, Homer E. Jr. 1915-1983. Meeting with Dr. L. DuBridge, president of Caltech, regarding JPL / Caltech/NASA relationships : conference report, 1964 Sep 14. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Records of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. 1939 - 1947. Historical Records
referencedIn Greenstein, Jesse L. (Jesse Leonard), 1909-2002. Oral history interview with Jesse Leonard Greenstein, 1974 July 31. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Glennan, Thomas Keith 1905-1995. Sergeant and tracking capabilities : memo 1959 Dec 16. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. No Shakeup in JPL Management Due, 1964 Feb. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Dicke, Robert H. (Robert Henry). Response to Laser History Project Survey, 1983. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Niels Bohr Library. The Emilio Segrè visual archives, A-D, [ca. 1870]-9999. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Brookhaven National Laboratory. Interview transcripts, 1966-1986. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. Transfer of JPL from Army Ordnance to NASA : press release, Joint Statement by DuBridge and Pickering, 1958. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf Lee A. DuBridge papers, 1932-1986 California Institute of Technology. Archives.
referencedIn Seitz, Frederick, 1911-2008. The Princeton years and beyond, 1930-1940: Invited paper for the March 1992 meeting of the American Physical Society, 1992. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Hutchings, Edward, Jr.,. Engineering and science : Vol. XV No. 3, 1951 Dec. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Rabi, I. I. (Isidor Isaac), 1898-1988. I.I. Rabi papers, 1899-1989 (bulk 1945-1968). Library of Congress
referencedIn Seitz, Frederick, 1911-2008. Oral history interview with Frederick Seitz, 1981 January 26 to 1982 March 16. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Bullard, Edward Crisp, Sir, 1907-1980. The effectiveness of scientific advice to government [sound recording] : a lecture series at the University of California, Santa Barbara / 1976. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn JPL Advisory Council Membership Lists, 1979. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Bacher, Robert F. (Robert Fox), 1905-. The Papers of Robert F. Bacher, 1926-1994. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 1921 - 2008. Audio Recordings. 1945 - 1965. This I believe. No. 727 ; This I believe, No. 728 ; This I believe. No. 729
creatorOf Babcock, Harold Delos, 1882-1968. Fiftieth anniversary dinner for Walter Sydney Adams [sound recording] / 1954 December 20. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Public television's roots oral history project, 1979-1982. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994. Oral history interview with Lee A. DuBridge, 1968 December 13. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Murray, Bruce C., 1931-. Planetary Exploration study group : correspondence and draft reports, 1964 Nov 19 to 1965 Sept 24. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, records of Karl Taylor Compton and James Rhyne Killian, 1930-1959 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. Mars exploration program : letter to Oran W. Nicks, Office of Space Science and Applications, 1965 Mar 16. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994. Oral history interview with Lee A. DuBridge, 1986 February 14. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Bolton, J. G. (John Gatenby), 1922-1993. Papers [manuscript]. Libraries Australia
creatorOf Dubridge, Lee A., 1901-1994. Objectives of the Space Program : text of speech, 1965 May. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
referencedIn Martin J. Sherwin Collection Relating to J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1910-2006, (bulk 1931-2006) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Alvarez, Luis W., 1911-1988. Niels Bohr Library : oral history transcripts, 1924-1978. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Records of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. 1939 - 1947. Correspondence
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Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
United States
United States
Outer space
Subject
Science consultants
Science and state
Mars (planet)
Military-industrial complex
Physics--Research--20 century
space exploration
Federal aid to research--Methodology
Technological innovations--Social aspects
Public television
Research grants--Political aspects
Greenhouse effect, Atmospheric
Research grants--Government policy
Medicine--Research--20 century
California Institute of Technology--Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Communism and intellectuals--United States
Agriculture--Research--20 century
Explorer satellites :
Satellite observation
United States--National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Cooperation
Photoelectricity--Research
History
Astronomy--Research--20 century
contract management
Cyclotrons--Research
Radar--Military applications
Fund raising
Ranger project :
World War, 1939-1945--Science
Organization
Physics--Study and teaching
Vacuum-tubes
Surveyor project :
Scientists in government
Communism and intellectuals
Geology--Research--20th century
International geophysical year
Military spacecraft
Cold War
World War, 1939-1945--Radar
Cyclotrons--Design and construction
Educational assistance, American--Government policy
Occupation
Physicists
Function

Person

Birth 1901-09-21

Death 1994-01-23

Americans

English

Information

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