Lee Alvin DuBridge

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Lee DuBridge
DuBridge in 1950
Director of the Office of Science and Technology
In office
1969-01-20 (1969-01-20) – 1970-08-31 (1970-08-31)
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byDonald Hornig
Succeeded byEd David
Chairman of the President's Science Advisory Committee
In office
Preceded byOliver Buckley
Succeeded byIsidor Rabi
2nd president of the California Institute of Technology
In office
Preceded byRobert Millikan
Succeeded byHarold Brown
Personal details
Born(1901-09-21)September 21, 1901
Terre Haute, Indiana, U.S.
DiedJanuary 23, 1994(1994-01-23) (aged 92)
Duarte, California, U.S.
AwardsVannevar Bush Award (1982)
Scientific career
ThesisVariations in the photo-electric sensitivity of platinum (1926)
Doctoral advisorCharles Mendenhall
Doctoral students

Lee Alvin DuBridge (21 September 1901 – 23 January 1994) was an American educator and physicist, best known as president of the California Institute of Technology from 1946–1969.[1]


Lee Alvin DuBridge was born on 21 September 1901, in Terre Haute, Indiana. His father was Fred DuBridge, a football coach at Indiana State Normal School.[2] He graduated from Cornell College in 1922, and then began a teaching assignment at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, from which he received an M.A. degree in 1924[3] and a Ph.D. in 1926.[4] DuBridge continued his academic work at the California Institute of Technology, as assistant, then associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis (1928–1934), and the University of Rochester.[1][5]



At Rochester, DuBridge began a long career as an academic administrator, serving as dean of the faculty of arts and sciences. On leave from Rochester between 1940 and 1946, he became the founding director of the Radiation Laboratory at MIT. In 1946, DuBridge began serving as president of the California Institute of Technology through 1969.[1]

Civil service[edit]

In 1958, he, along with William A. Fowler, Max Mason, Linus Pauling, and Bruce H. Sage, was awarded the Medal for Merit.[6][7] DuBridge served as presidential Science Advisor under President Harry S. Truman from 1952–53 and under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953-55, and (after retiring from Caltech) under President Richard Nixon from 1969–70.[1]


DuBridge served on boards for: RAND Corporation (1948–1961), National Science Board (1950–1954), Western College Association (president, 1950–1951),[8] Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1951–1957), Air Pollution Foundation (1953–1961), Institute for Defense Analysis (1956–1960), Rockefeller Foundation (1956–1976), National Science Board (vice chair, 1958–1964), board of governors for the Los Angeles Town Hall (1959–1963), Edison Foundation (1960–1968), KCET (1962–1968), Huntington Library (1962–1968), and National Educational Television (1964–1968).[1]

Personal and death[edit]

DuBridge died of pneumonia at a retirement home in Duarte, California, on 23 January 1994.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Greenstein, Jesse L. (1997-08-23). "Lee Alvin DuBridge". Biographical Memoirs, Volume 72. Vol. 72. National Academies Press. pp. 89–112. doi:10.17226/5859. ISBN 978-0-309-05788-2. ISSN 0077-2933. LCCN 05026629. OCLC 44748015. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  2. ^ a b "Historical Perspective: Lee A. DuBridge: America's Senior Statesman of Science". Tribune-Star. 2015-09-27. Archived from the original on 2022-03-22. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  3. ^ Dubridge, Lee Alvin (1924). Positive rays produced by ultra violet light (Ph.D. thesis). University of Wisconsin–Madison. OCLC 608883548.
  4. ^ Dubridge, Lee Alvin (March 1926). "Variations in the photo-electric sensitivity of platinum" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 12 (3): 162–168. Bibcode:1926PNAS...12..162D. doi:10.1073/pnas.12.3.162. ISSN 0027-8424. JSTOR 00278424. LCCN 16010069. OCLC 43473694. PMC 1084478. PMID 16576969. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-03-18.
  5. ^ "DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901–1994". American Institute of Physics. Archived from the original on 2021-11-20. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  6. ^ a b "Presidential Medal for Merit. February 2, 1948. - Published Papers and Official Documents - Linus Pauling and the International Peace Movement". Oregon State University. Archived from the original on 2018-07-18. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  7. ^ "5 Caltech Scientists to Get War Medals". Pasadena Independent. 1948-10-03. p. 8. Retrieved 2022-02-28 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ Herrick, Francis H. (1976). History of the Western College Association: 1924–1974. Oakland, California: Western College Association. p. 84. OCLC 2749685 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  10. ^ "Lee Alvin DuBridge". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. 9 February 2023. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  11. ^ "Emmys Bestowed by Television Academy". The Los Angeles Times. Vol. 86. 1967-04-20. p. IV-14. ISSN 0458-3035 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". Academy of Achievement. Archived from the original on 2022-03-08. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  13. ^ "Leon Lederman Biography. Photo: June 24, 1982: Awards Council member and President of Caltech, 1946-1969, Dr. Lee A. DuBridge, presenting the Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award at the Banquet ceremonies held in New Orleans, Louisiana". American Academy of Achievement. Archived from the original on 2021-11-03. Retrieved 2022-03-23.
  14. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). "(5678) DuBridge". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). Berlin: Springer Nature. pp. 481–482. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_5374. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by President of the California Institute of Technology
Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by Chairman of the President's Science Advisory Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director of the Office of Science and Technology
Succeeded by