Farewell to a friend

By | October 4, 2018

Leon Lederman, 1922-2018Leon Lederman, 1922-2018

Farewell to Leon Lederman, Chair Emeritus of the Bulletin‘s Board of Sponsors

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Leon Lederman, Nobel Laureate, Director Emeritus of Fermilab, and Chair Emeritus of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Board of Sponsors.

Lederman’s scientific accomplishments are well-known: work in founding the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), where he was director from 1978 to 1989; the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988; the National Medal of Science; the Enrico Fermi Prize; and many others. What is perhaps less well-known was his accessibility to young scientists, a remarkable sense of humor, and a deep, abiding passion for communicating the joy of science to the wider public and to students everywhere.

“Leon had an uncanny ability to focus in on the most important aspects of any issue, and he brought that ability to the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, where he served for many years before becoming board chair in 2001,” said Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the organization. “His presence in our community will be greatly missed.”

Lederman served as Chair, and then Co-Chair, of the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors from 2001 to 2015; he was elected Chair Emeritus in 2015. He passed away in Rexburg, Idaho and is survived by his wife of 37 years, Ellen, as well as three children, Rena, Jesse, and Rachel, with his first wife, Florence Gordon.


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