Mary Proctor

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Sketch of Proctor that appeared in The New York Times on September 9, 1894.

Mary Proctor (1862 – September 11, 1957) was an American popularizer of astronomy.

She was born in Dublin, Ireland,[1] the daughter of Mary and Richard Proctor. They emigrated to the United States in 1882.[1] Her father was a British popularizer of astronomy, and she gained her knowledge of the subject from him. She authored many articles for newspapers and journals, and wrote a number of popular books.

Despite various claims as being an American, there is a passenger list of about 1924 where she gives nationality as British.

The crater Proctor on the Moon was named after her. (The crater Proctor on Mars was named after her father.)


  • Stories Of Starland, 1895.
  • Giant Sun And His Family, 1896.
  • "Halley's Comet after 75 years rushes Earthward again", San Francisco Call, August 23, 1908.
  • Half Hours With The Summer Stars, 1911.
  • Legends Of The Stars, 1922.
  • The Children's Book Of The Heavens, 1924.
  • Evenings With The Stars, 1924.
  • Legends Of The Sun And Moon, 1926.
  • The Romance Of Comets, 1926.
  • The Romance Of The Sun, 1927.
  • The Romance Of The Moon, 1928.
  • The Romance Of The Planets, 1929.
  • Wonders Of The Sky, 1931.
  • Our Stars Month By Month, 1937
  • M. Proctor and A. C. D. Crommelin, Comets, 1937.
  • Everyman's Astronomy 1939.
  • Comets, Meteors And Shooting Stars, 1940.


  1. ^ a b Hoffleit, Dorrit (2001). "The Maria Mitchell Observatory--For Astronomical Research and Public Enlightenment" (pdf). The Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observer 30 (1): 67. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Creese, Mary R. S. (1998). Ladies in the laboratory? : American and British women in science, 1800-1900 : a survey of their contributions to research. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow. pp. 236–238. ISBN 9780810832879. 
  • Moore, Patrick; Thomas Hockey; Katherine Bracher; Marvin Bolt; Virginia Trimble; Richard Jarrell; JoAnn Palmeri; Jordan D. Marché; Thomas Williams; F. Jamil Ragep (2007). "Proctor, Mary". In Bracher, Katherine. The biographical encyclopedia of astronomers ([Online-Ausg.] ed.). New York, NY: Springer. ISBN 9780387304007. 
  • Lienhard, John H. "Episode no. 2681: Mary Proctor". Engines of our ingenuity. Houston Public Media. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  • Saum, Lewis O. (February 1999). "The Proctor interlude in St. Joseph and in America: Astronomy, romance and tragedy". American Studies International 37 (1): –54. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 

External links[edit]