Carl Sagan Biography (1934-1996)



Full name, Carl Edward Sagan; born November 9, 1934, in Brooklyn, NY; died ofpneumonia, a complication of myelodysplasia (a bone marrow disease), December 19, 1996, in Seattle, WA; son of Samuel (a cloth cutter and factory manager) and Rachel (Gruber) Sagan; married Lynn Alexander Margulis (a scientist), June 16, 1957 (divorced, 1963); married Linda Salzman (a painter), April 6, 1968 (divorced); married Ann Druyan (a writer); children: (first marriage) Dorion Solomon, Jeremy Ethan; (second marriage) Nicholas; (third marriage) Alexandra Rachel, Samuel Democritus ("Sam"). Career: Astronomer, writer, andproducer. Committee to Review Project Blue, U.S. Air Force, member, 1956-66;Mariner 2 mission to Venus, experiment conductor, 1962; Stanford UniversityMedical School, Palo Alto, CA, visiting assistant professor of genetics, 1962-63; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, assistant professor of astronomy, 1962-68, Lowell lecturer, 1984; Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA, astrophysicist, 1962-68; National Science Foundation/American Astronomical Society, visiting professor at various colleges and universities, 1963-67; University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, and Oregon State University,Corvallis, OR, Condon lecturer, 1967-68; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, associate professor, 1968-70, director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies, 1968-96, associate director of the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research,1972-81, David Duncan professor of astronomy and space sciences, 1979-96, Johnson distinguished lecturer at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, 1985, Olin lecturer, 1988, Robert W. Beggs memorial lecturer at the Center forReligion, Ethics, and Social Policy, 1989; National Aeronautics and Space Administration, lecturer in astronaut training program, 1969-72, chair of the study group on machine intelligence and robotics, 1977-79; American Associationfor the Advancement of Science, Holiday lecturer, 1970; Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, member of the board of directors, 1972-77; Vanuxem lecturer, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 1973 and 1985; Smith lecturer, Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH, 1974 and 1977; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Wagner lecturer, 1975; Haverford College, Haverford, PA, Philips lecturer, 1975; National Book Awards, judge, 1975; University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Jacob Bronowski lecturer, 1975, H. L. Welshlecturer in physics, 1982; Smithsonian Institution, council member, 1975-85;University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX, Anson Clark memorial lecturer, 1976; John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, member of the fellowship panel, 1976-81; American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, member of the usage panel, 1976-96; Royal Institution, London, England, Christmas lecturer, 1977; American Psychiatric Association, Menninger memorial lecturer, 1978, Adolf Meyer lecturer, 1984; Planetary Society, president, 1979-96. Council for aLivable World Education Fund, member of the board of directors, 1980-96; Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee Institute, AL, Carver memorial lecturer, 1981; U.S.Military Academy, West Point, NY, Feinstone lecturer, 1981; Yale University,New Haven, CT, Class Day lecturer, 1981; Carl Sagan Productions, Inc., president, 1981-96; Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, George Pal lecturer, 1982; University of Arizona, Phelps Dodge lecturer, 1982; civil space station study, Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress, member of the advisory panel, 1982-96; U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, distinguished lecturer, 1983; American Committee on U.S.-Soviet Relations, member, 1983-96; Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA, Jack distinguished American lecturer, 1984; Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, distinguished lecturer, 1984; National War College, National Defense University, keystonelecturer, 1984-86; National Resources Defense Council, Marshall lecturer, 1985; University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, Gifford lecturer in natural theology, 1985; California Academy of Sciences, Lilenthal lecturer, 1986; American Public Health Association, Dolan lecturer, 1986; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, distinguished visiting scientist, 1986-96; Japan Society, distinguished lecturer, 1987; Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA, Cohen lecturer, 1987; University of Nevada, Reno, NV, Barrack lecturer, 1987; University of Alabama, Von Braun lecturer, 1987; University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, Commonwealth lecturer, 1988; National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, Gilbert Grosvenor centennial lecturer, 1988; Children's Health Fund, member of the board of advisors, 1988-96; Science, Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival, chair (with others), 1988-96; Murata lecturer, Kyoto, Japan, 1989; Astronomical Society of the Pacific, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, Bart Bok centennial lecturer, 1989; U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, James Forrestal lecturer, 1989; National Telephone and Telegraph Company, Tokyo, Japan, centennial lecturer, 1990; State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, distinguished speaker, 1990; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, IL, James R. Thompson leadership lecturer, 1991; Nehru memorial lecturer,New Delhi, India, 1991; Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo, Japan, member of the international board of advisors, 1991-96; National Institutes for the Environment, member of the advisory council, 1991-96; Stanford University, Palo Alto,CA, Boyer lecturer, 1993; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, RobertResnick lecturer in physics, 1993; conductor of experiments on the Mariner 9and Viking missions to Mars, the Voyager mission to the outer solar system, the Galileo mission to Jupiter; designer of interstellar messages on Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2; member of various advisory groups of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; consultant to the National Academy of Science. Member: American Academy of Arts and Sciences (fellow), Council on Foreign Relations, International Astronomical Union (organizing committee member, Commission of Physical Study of Planets), International Councilof Scientific Unions (vice chair, working group on moon and planets, committee on space research), International Academy of Astronautics, International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life (member of the council, 1980-96), American Astronomical Society (councilor; chair of the division of planetary sciences, 1975-76), American Physical Society (fellow), American Geophysical Union (fellow; president of the planetology section, 1980-82), American Association for the Advancement of Science (fellow; chair of the astronomy section), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (fellow), American Astronautical Society (fellow; member of the council, 1976-81), Federation of American Scientists (member of the council, 1977-81 and 1984-88; sponsor), Society for the Study of Evolution, British Interplanetary Society (fellow), Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Genetics Society of America, PEN International, Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Writers Guild of America, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (fellow), Explorers Club, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi. Awards, Honors: National Science Foundation, predoctoral fellow, 1955-58; Miller research fellow in astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, 1960-62; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation research fellow, Harvard University, 1963-67; A. Calver Smith Prize, Harvard University, 1964; Apollo Achievement Award, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1970; medal for exceptional scientific achievement, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1972; Prix Galabert (international astronautics prize), 1973;Klumpke-Roberts Prize, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1974; John W. Campbell Memorial Award, World Science Convention, 1974, for The Cosmic Connection; Golden Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement, 1975; JosephPriestly Award, Dickinson College, 1975; D.Sc., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1975; D.H.L., Skidmore College, 1976; D.Sc., Denison University, 1976; D.Sc., Clarkson College, 1977; medals for distinguished public service, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1977 and 1981; Pulitzer Prize for literature, 1978, for The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution ofHuman Intelligence; Washburn Medal, Boston Museum of Science, 1978; D.Sc., Whittier College, 1978; D.Sc., Clark University, 1978; LL.D., University ofWyoming, Laramie, WY, 1978; Rittenhouse Medal, Franklin Institute/Rittenhouse Astronomical Society, 1980; 75th Anniversary Award, Explorers Club, 1980; D.H.L., Lewis and Clark College, 1980; D.Sc., American University, 1980; Academy of Family Films and Family Television Award, best television series of 1980, 1980, citation for highest quality television programming from the American Council for Better Broadcasts of 1980-81, Silver Plaque from the Chicago Film Festival, President's Special Award from the Western Educational Society for Telecommunications, and the George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Award for excellence in television programming from the University of Georgia, all 1981,and the Annual Award for television excellence from Ohio State University, 1982, all for Cosmos. American Book Award nominations, 1981, for Cosmos and Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science; Humanist of the Year Award from the American Humanist Association, 1981; Glenn Seaborg Prize for communicating science from the lecture platform, American Platform Association, 1981; Ralph Coats Roe Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1981; Hugo Award, World Science Fiction Convention, 1982, for Cosmos; Stony Brook Foundation Award (with Frank Press), 1982, for "distinguished contributions to higher education"; D.H.L., Brooklyn College, 1982;Robotics Institute fellow, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 1982-96; John F. Kennedy Astronautics Award, American Astronautical Society, 1983;Arthur C. Clarke Award for Exploration and Development of Space, 1984; PeterLavan Award for Humanitarian Service, Bard College, 1984; New Priorities Award, Fund for New Priorities in America, 1984; Sidney Hillman Foundation PrizeAward, 1984, for "outstanding contributions to world peace"; SANE National Peace Award, 1984; Regents Medal for Excellence, Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, 1984; D.Sc., University of South Carolina, 1984; Olive Branch Awards, New York University, 1984, 1986, and 1989; Physicians for Social Responsibility Annual Award for public service, 1985; Leo Szilard Award for physics in the public interest (with Richard P. Turco and others), American Physical Society, 1985, for "the discovery of nuclear winter"; Distinguished Service Award, World Peace Film Festival, Marlboro College, 1985;Honda Prize, Honda Foundation, 1985; D.Sc., Hofstra University, 1985; Nahum Goldmann Medal, World Jewish Congress, 1986; Brit HaDorot Award, Shalom Center, 1986; Annual Award of Merit, American Consulting Engineers Council, 1986; Locus Award, 1986, for Contact; LL.D., Drexel University, 1986; MauriceEisendrath Award for Social Justice, Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1987; In Praise of Reason Award, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, 1987; Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Medal, Soviet Cosmonautics Federation, 1987; D.Sc., Long Island University, 1987; George F. Kennan Peace Award, SANE/Freeze, 1988; Helen Caldicott Peace Leadership Award (with Ann Druyan), Women's Actionfor Nuclear Disarmament, 1988; Distinguished Service Award for innovation inhigher education, University without Walls International Council, 1988; D.Sc., Tuskegee University, 1988; Roger Baldwin Award, Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union, 1989; Oersted Medal, American Association of Physics Teachers, 1990; D.Sc.L., University of Illinois, 1990; D.Sc., Lehigh University, 1990; D.Hum., University of Hartford, 1991; Annual Award for Outstanding Television Script, Writers Guild of America, 1991; Presidential Award, National Science Supervisors Association, 1991; UCLA medal, University of California at Los Angeles, 1991; Distinguished Leadership Award, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 1993;First Carl Sagan Understanding of Science Award, 1994; Public Welfare Medal,National Academy of Science, 1994; Award for Public Understanding of Scienceand Technology, American Academy for the Advancement of Science, 1995.

Nationality
American
Gender
Male
Occupation
Astronomer, writer, producer
Birth Details
November 9, 1934
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Death Details
December 19, 1996
Seattle, Washington, United States

Famous Works

Further Reference

Adaptations:

OTHER SOURCES Books: Periodicals:



Other articles you might like:

Follow City-Data.com Founder
on our Forum or Twitter

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA