Fred Begay

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Photo of Dr. Fred Begay distributed on the occasion of his election to the New York Academy of Sciences.

Fred Begay (July 2, 1932 – April 30, 2013), also Fred Young or Clever Fox, was a Navajo/Ute nuclear physicist.[1] Begay was born in Towaoc, Colorado on the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation.[2] He was the son of Joy Lopez (Navajo, Ute) and Hosteen Begay (Navajo). As a youth, Begay was trained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to become a farmer and never graduated from high school.[3] 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.[2] 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.[2] Begay was profiled in the 1979 NOVA documentary, The Long Walk of Fred Young.[4][5]


  1. ^ Fred Begay. Accessed 2011-08-15.
  2. ^ a b c Fred Begay. Council of Indian Nations. Accessed 2011-08-15.
  3. ^ Fred Begay. NASA. Accessed 2011-08-15.
  4. ^ American Indians on Film & Video: Documentaries in the Library of Congress. Accessed 2011-08-15.
  5. ^ "Dr. Fred Begay Obituary". LA Monitor. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2015.