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Dr. Henry Smith Pritchett,
who was the 9th Superintendent of this Survey, serving from henry pritchettDecember 1, 1897 to November 30, 1900, died from bronchial pneumonia at his home in Santa Barbara, California, on the morning of August 28, 1939, at the age of 82.

Of Welsh extraction, Dr. Pritchett was born in Fayette, Missouri, April 16, 1857, the son of Carl Waller and Elizabeth Susan (Smith) Pritchett. He received his A.B. degree at Pritchett College, Glasgow, Missouri, in 1875, and his Ph.D. in Munich in 1894. He received the LL.D. degree from Hamilton College (1900), University of Pennsylvania (1901), Harvard and Yale (1901), Johns Hopkins (1902), University of Michigan (1905), University of Toronto (1906), Brown (1908), Miami (1910), University of Vermont (1911), Washington (1915), McGill (1917), Western Reserve (1918), Dalhousie (1919), University of Colorado (1923), and Union (1924). He also received the Sc.D degree from Tufts (1905) and Stevens Institute of Teaching (1908), while in 1919 Whitman College conferred on him the Litt.D. degree.

On the resignation of William Ward Duffield on November 30, 1897, he became Superintendent the next day, serving until November 30, 1900, when he became president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to his service with this Bureau he became a student in 1876 and later assistant astronomer of the U.S. Naval Observatory; astronomer at Morrison Observatory, Glasgow, Missouri in 1880; astronomer with the Transit of Venus Expedition to New Zealand in 1882; and on his return in 1883, professor and director of the observatory at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Pritchett was president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1906-1930). Resigning because of overwork, he was designated President Ermeritus. He was connected with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; the National Broadcasting Company (advisory council); a director of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway; and a trustee of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. He was the recipient of the coveted Chevalier Legion of Honor, given him in 1922, and the Gold Cross, Commander, Order of George I of Greece in 1923.

In 1881 he was married to Ida W. Williams and they had three sons, Colonel H. H. Pritchett, Edwin E. Pritchett, and Leonard W. Pritchett of New York, and a daughter, Ida W. Pritchett. He was married in 1900 to Eva McAllister of San Francisco, to whom a daughter, Edith Pritchett, was born.


C&GS Bulletin 9/1939




Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.
Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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