George A. Keyworth II

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George Keyworth
George A. Keyworth, II 1981, 4.jpg
3rd Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
In office
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byFrank Press
Succeeded byWilliam Robert Graham
Personal details
Born(1939-11-30)November 30, 1939
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
DiedAugust 23, 2017(2017-08-23) (aged 77)
Monterey, California, United States
Cause of deathProstate cancer
Alma materDuke University
Yale University
Scientific career
InstitutionsLos Alamos National Laboratory
ThesisA high resolution study of isobaric analogue states in potassium-41 And sodium-23 (1968)
Doctoral advisorEdward Bilpuch

George Albert Keyworth II (G. A. Keyworth) (November 11, 1939 – August 23, 2017) was an American physicist; presidential Science Advisor 1981–1985. He was a board member of Hewlett-Packard who was asked to step down in light of the controversy surrounding disclosure of sensitive information to the media.[1] He resigned on September 13, 2006.[2]


He received a PhD in physics from Duke University in 1968.[3] Following the granting of his degree, he took a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he rose to become leader of the Physics Division, the position he held when he was asked to become the presidential Science Advisor.[4]

Keyworth has been chairman and senior fellow with The Progress & Freedom Foundation since 1995.[5][6]

Keyworth was also on the board of directors for Eon Corporation (formally known as TV Answer) from 1990 to 1994.[7] He worked as a liaison between TV Answer and Hewlett-Packard which eventually led to a manufacturing and marketing partnership between the two companies that was designed to speed the development of the first national interactive television system. Keyworth facilitated the agreement between HP and TV Answer to manufacture and market interactive television home units that would activate and control TV Answer’s two-way system in the home.[8]

He was Science Advisor to the president and director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1981 to 1986.[6][9][10] He is also a director of General Atomics.[6]

Hewlett-Packard resignation[edit]

In early 2005, after news leaks about then-CEO Carly Fiorina's clashes with the board surfaced, Fiorina hired a law firm to find the source.[2] In February 2005, Fiorina left the company and Patricia Dunn, non-executive chairwoman, continued the investigation.[2] As part of a larger scandal, a subcontractor used pretexting to expose Keyworth as the source of an alleged additional leak to CNET, and he was outed at a May 18, 2006 board meeting.[2] At the meeting, Dunn asked Keyworth to resign, he refused asserting that he was not the source of any unauthorized or inappropriate communication with reporters, and another board member (Tom Perkins) resigned over the way Keyworth was being treated.[2][11] HP revealed the story on September 6, 2006 and said that they were not seeking Keyworth's reelection to the board.[11] Coinciding with Mark V. Hurd's promotion to chairman, Keyworth resigned on September 12.[2] In connection with Keyworth's resignation, HP made the following statement regarding the alleged CNET leak: "At HP's request, Dr. Keyworth often had contacts with the press to explain HP's interests. The board does not believe that Dr. Keyworth's contact with CNET in January 2006 was vetted through appropriate channels, but also recognizes that his discussion with the CNET reporter was undertaken in an attempt to further HP's interests. HP board chairman Patricia Dunn expressed regret for the intrusion into his privacy."[12]

Keyworth had been a director of HP since 1986 and, until his resignation, was the longest-serving director at the company.[2]


Keyworth died at his home in Monterey, California of prostate cancer on August 23, 2017 at the age of 77.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Olsen, Parmy (2006-09-07). "Dunn For?". Forbes. Retrieved 2006-09-08.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kessler, Michelle; Hopkins, Jim (2006-09-13). "New HP chief makes the best of a bad situation". USA Today. Retrieved 2006-09-25.
  3. ^ Keyworth, George Albert, II (1968). A high resolution study of isobaric analogue states in potassium-41 And sodium-23 (Ph.D.). Duke University. OCLC 21120102 – via ProQuest. (Subscription required (help)).
  4. ^ a b "George A. Keyworth II, Reagan Science Adviser, Dies at 77". The New York Times. August 28, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "Advisory Committee". The Digital Age Communications Act Project. Progress & Freedom Foundation. Retrieved 2006-09-08.
  6. ^ a b c "George A. (Jay) Keyworth II profile". RightWeb. 2003-11-20. Retrieved 2006-09-25.
  7. ^ Andrews, Edmund L. (August 17, 1994). "Airwave Entrepreneurs Still Feeling Their Way". New York Times
  8. ^ Lewyn, Mark (June 29, 1992). "This Isn't the Response TV Answer Expected". Businessweek
  9. ^ "Past Science Advisors". Office of Science and Technology Policy. Retrieved 2006-09-08.
  10. ^ Reinhold, Robert (May 5, 1981). "Physicist is named as science advisor". New York Times.
  11. ^ a b Pimentel, Benjamin (2006-09-06). "HP pushing out veteran member of board". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2006-09-25.
  12. ^

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Frank Press
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
1981 – 1985
Succeeded by
William Robert Graham