Photo of Dr. Fred Begay distributed on the occasion of his election to the New York Academy of Sciences.
Fred Begay (born July 2,1932, died April 30, 2013), aka Fred Young or Clever Fox, is a Native American nuclear physicist. Begay was born in 1932 at Towaoc on the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation in Colorado. His mother was Joy Lopez Navajo and Ute and his father, Hosteen Begay, was Navajo. As a youth, Begay was trained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to become a farmer and never graduated from high school. After serving in the Korean War in the US military, he attended the University of New Mexico where he earned a bachelor's degree in math and science in 1961, a master's in physics in 1963 and a Ph.D in physics in 1971. Begay joined the physics staff of Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1971. His work is in the alternative use of laser, electron and ion beams to heat thermonuclear plasmas for use as alternative energy sources. Begay was profiled in the 1979 NOVA documentary, The Long Walk of Fred Young.