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You are at the section Science and Tech Birthdays a2z


Last Updated 03-04-2019

Leigh Wade -- b.2/2/1897 d.8/31/1991 (94)

Boyd David "Buzz" Wagner -- b.10/26/1916 d.11/29/1942 (26)
Misc: the first United States Army Air Forces fighter ace in World War II

John Wain -- b.3/14/1925 d.5/24/1994 (69)
Novelist, Poet, Critic, Anthologist, Editor

Theodor Waitz -- b.3/17/1821 d.5/21/1864 (43)
Anthropologist, Psychologist, German

Selman Waksman -- b.7/22/1888 d.8/16/1973 (85)
Scientist, Microbiologist, Physician, Russian

George Wald -- b.11/18/1906 d.4/13/1997 (90)
Misc: Nobel Prize, vitamin A in retina

Lillian D. Wald -- b.3/10/1867 d.9/1/1940 (73)
Scientist, Doctor, Nurse, Sociologist
Misc: child welfare reformer, institutional in establishing a nationwide system of nurses in public schools, "Angel of Henry Street" (New York City)

Joseph Walker -- b.12/13/1798 d.11/13/1872 (73)
Explorer, Naturalist
Misc: Sierra Nevada mtns.

Mary Edwards Walker -- b.11/26/1832 d.2/21/1919 (86)
Physician, Surgeon, Civil Rights Leader

Thomas Walker -- b.1/25/1715 d.11/9/1794 (79)
Explorer, Physician
Names/Places: b. in Virginia, U.S. Colonies
Misc: Trader

Alfred Russell Wallace -- b.1/8/1823 d.11/7/1913 (90)
Scientist, Naturalist, Zoologist, British
Misc: co-discoverer of evolution

Otto Wallach -- b.3/27/1847 d.2/26/1931 (83)
Chemist, German, Prussian

Fred Waller -- b.3/10/1886 d.5/18/1954 (68)
Misc: invented cinerama & water ski

John Wallis -- b.11/23/1616 J-LD d.10/28/1703 J-LD (86)
Mathematician, British
Misc: intorduced the infinity math symbol

Samuel Wallis -- b.4/23/1728 d.1/21/1795 (66)
Explorer, Navigator, English
Misc: Easter Island

Kenneth A. Walsh -- b.11/24/1916 d.7/30/1998 (81)
Misc: was the fourth ranking United States Marine Corps fighter ace in World War II with a record of 21 enemy planes destroyed.

Eugene Walter Jr. -- b.11/30/1921 d.3/29/1998 (76)
Short Story Writer, Poet, Screen/Scriptwriter, Inventor, Actor, Ventriloquist

Johann Gottfried Walther -- b.9/18/1684 N.S. d.3/23/1748 N.S. (63)
Lexicographer, Theorist, Composer, Organist, German
Misc: one of the first musical lexicographers

Ernest Thomas Walton -- b.10/6/1903 d.6/25/1995 (91)
Physicist, Irish
Misc: with John Cochcroft, discovered how to split an atom

John Wanamaker -- b.7/11/1838 d.12/12/1922 (84)
Inventor, Pioneer, Businessperson
Misc: developed deptpartment store merchandising

Dr. An Wang -- b.2/7/1920 d.3/24/1990 (70)
Engineer, Inventor, Businessperson, Chinese
Misc: founded WANG computer makers; computer memory core; some say b. Feb 2

Felix Wankel -- b.8/13/1902 d.10/9/1988 (86)
Engineer, Inventor, German
Misc: the first rotary internal combustion engine

Otto Warburg -- b.10/8/1883 d.8/1/1970 (86)
Chemist, Physiologist, German

Tess Ward -- b.3/25/1990 N.S.
Author, Chef, Model, English
Book Titles: The Naked Diet

Fred Waring -- b.6/9/1900 d.7/29/1984 (84)
Inventor, Variety Show Host, Director, Conductor/Composer, Arranger, Songwriter, Banjoist, Violinist, Bandleader
Names/Places: b. in Tyrone, PA
Misc: Chorals; Waring blender inventor
Group Names: Pennsylvanians (lead)
TV Shows: The Fred Waring Show, Glee Club

Worcester Reed Warner -- b.5/6/1846 d.6/25/1929 (83)
Astronomer, Engineer, Inventor, Philanthropist
Misc: pioneer in the machine-tool industry, benefactor to science, and co-founder of Warner and Swasey Company

John Collins Warren -- b.8/1/1778 d.5/4/1856 (77)
Physician, Surgeon

Dr. Joseph Warren -- b.6/11/1741 d.6/17/1775 (34)
Revolutionary, Physician

Gerald J. Wasserberg -- b.3/25/1927 N.S. d.6/13/2016 N.S. (89)
Scientist, Geologist, Geophysicist

Benjamin Waterhorse -- b.3/4/1754 d.10/2/1846 (92)

Lewis Waterman -- b.11/18/1837 d.5/1/1901 (63)
Inventor, Manufacturer
Misc: fountain pens

James Dewey Watson -- b.4/6/1928
Scientist, Biochemist, Biologist, Geneticist, Zoologist
Misc: co-discoverer the DNA structure

John Broadus Watson -- b.1/9/1878 d.9/25/1958 (80)
Misc: spokesman for behaviorism

Dr. Thomas A. Watson -- b.1/18/1854 d.12/13/1934 (80)
Names/Places: MN:Augustus
Misc: Alexander Graham Bell's assistant

Sir Robert Watson-Watt -- b.4/13/1892 d.12/6/1973 (81)
Engineer, Physicist, Scotish
Misc: invented the radar, which was a major factor in the defeat of Germany in WWII; d. Dec 5?

James E. Watt -- b.1/19/1736 Ju-1 or 1/30/1736 N.S. d.8/19/1819 N.S. (83)
Engineer, Inventor, Scotish
Misc: Scottish engineer (Get it? Engineer Scotty?!?); of the Steam Engine; d. Aug 25?

Beatrice Porter Webb -- b.1/21/1858 N.S. d.4/30/1943 N.S. (85)
Scientist, Sociologist, Economist, English

Max Weber -- b.4/21/1864 d.6/14/1920 (56)
Author, Scientist, Sociologist, Professor, German
Misc: Theorist of Liberal Imperialism

James Weddell -- b.8/24/1787 d.9/9/1834 (47)
Explorer, Navigator, English
Misc: Antarctic explorer, Weddell Sea

Josiah Wedgwood -- b.7/12/1730 d.1/3/1795 (64)
Artist, Potterist, Inventor, English

Thomas Wedgwood -- b.5/14/1771 N.S. d.7/10/1805 N.S. (34)
Photographer, Inventor, British
Names/Places: Josiah's son

Alfred L. Wegener -- b.11/1/1880 d.11/??/1930 (50)
Scientist, Geophysicist, Meterologist, German
Misc: formulated the first complete statement of the continental drift hypothesis.

Paul Weitz -- b.7/25/1932 N.S. d.10/23/2017 N.S. (85)
Astronaut, Aviator
Misc: veteran of Skylab and shuttle missions

Chaim Weizmann -- b.11/27/1874 d.11/9/1952 (77)
Scientist, Head of State, Russian
Misc: the first president of Israel in 1948

John Francis "Jack" Welch Jr. -- b.11/19/1935
Author, Engineer, Businessperson, Executive
Misc: former General Electric CEO & chairman; wasn't he the one who refused to shake David Letterman's hand?

William Welch -- b.4/8/1850 d.4/30/1934 (84)
Scientist, Bacteriologist, Pathologist
Misc: founded John Hopkins

Thomas Weller -- b.6/15/1915 d.8/23/2008 (93)
Scientist, Bacteriologist

Walter Wellman -- b.11/3/1858 d.1/31/1934 (75)
Aeronautical, Aviator, Explorer, Journalist

William Augustus W. Wellman -- b.2/29/1896 d.12/9/1975 (79)
Screen/Scriptwriter, Aviator, Movie Producer/Director
Names/Places: b. in Brookline, Mass
Misc: WWI flying ace
Movie Titles: A Star is Born, The Ox Bow Incident

Horace Wells -- b.1/21/1815 d.1/24/1848 (33)
Misc: pioneer in use of medical anethesia.

Carl Auer Welsbach -- b.9/1/1858 d.8/4/1929 (70)
Chemist, Engineer, Austrian
Misc: invented the gas mantle, thus allowing the greatly increased output of light by gas lamps.

Abraham Werner -- b.9/25/1749 N.S. d.6/30/1817 N.S. (67)
Geologist, German

Alfred Werner -- b.12/12/1866 d.11/15/1919 (52)
Chemist, Swiss

Max Wertheimer -- b.4/15/1880 d.10/12/1943 (63)
Author, Psychologist, German

Daniel Wesson -- b.5/18/1825 d.8/4/1906 (81)
Inventor, Manufacturer
Misc: firearms; founded (Horace) Smith & Wesson Co.

David Wesson -- b.1/14/1861 d.5/22/1934 (73)
Misc: created Wesson Oil, Florence Henderson wouldn't have Wessonality without him!

Dr. Ruth Westheimer -- b.6/4/1928
Author, Doctor, Psychologist, Columnist, TV Talk Show Hostess, German
Names/Places: RFMN:Karola Ruth Siegel

George Westinghouse -- b.10/6/1846 d.3/12/1914 (67)
Inventor, Manufacturer
Misc: The Air Brake, founded own company, Standardized U.S. current; held 400 patents

Edward Weston -- b.5/9/1850 d.8/20/1936 (86)
Inventor, Manufacturer, American, British

Karl Weyprecht -- b.9/8/1838 d.3/29/1881 (42)
Explorer, German

Sir Charles Wheatstone -- b.2/6/1802 d.10/19/1875 (73)
Scientist, Inventor, British
Misc: The Wheatstone bridge was a device that accurately measured electrical resistance and became widely used in laboratories. He didn't actually invent the "Wheatstone Bridge".; One of his contemporaries, Samuel Hunter Christie, came up with the idea of the bridge circuit, but Wheatstone set the precedent for using it in the way in which it has been most commonly used.; Over time, the device became associated with him and took on his name.

Sir Mortimer Wheeler -- b.9/10/1890 N.S. d.7/22/1976 N.S. (85)
Scientist, Archaeologist, British
Misc: a great popularizer for his subject, particularly on TV.

Schuyler S. Wheeler -- b.5/17/1860 d.4/20/1923 (62)
Misc: invented the two-blade electric fan in 1882

Cullen Whipple -- b.9/4/1801 N.S. d.10/23/1868 N.S. (67)
Machinist, Inventor
Misc: patented the screw machine

Fred Whipple -- b.11/5/1906 d.8/30/2004 (97)
Misc: discovered 6 comets

George Hoyt Whipple -- b.8/28/1878 d.2/1/1976 (97)
Pathologist, Astrophysicist, Educator
Misc: Nobel-1934

Squire Whipple -- b.9/16/1804 d.3/15/1888 (83)
Engineer, Inventor
Misc: also a theoretician who provided the first scientifically based rules for bridge construction.

Edward H. White II -- b.11/14/1930 d.1/27/1967 (36)
Misc: died in Apollo I fire

Marco Pierre White -- b.12/11/1961 N.S.
Author, Chef, Restaurateur, English

Paul Dudley White -- b.6/6/1886 d.10/31/1973 (87)

Peregrine White -- b.11/20/1620 d.7/20/1704 (83)
Pioneer, Settler
Names/Places: the son of William and Susanna White
Misc: was born aboard the Mayflower in Massachusetts Bay; the first child to be born of English parents in present-day New England

Alfred North Whitehead -- b.2/15/1861 d.12/30/1947 (86)
Philosopher, Mathematician, English

Marcus Whitman -- b.9/4/1802 d.11/29/1847 (45)
Pioneer, Missionary
Misc: led to the U.S. securing Oregon; In 1836 his family became the first whites to reach the Pacific coast by wagon train. Whitman and his wife Narcissa were murdered by the Cayuse Indians in present-day Washington state in 1847.

Asa Whitney -- b.12/1/1791 d.8/??/1872
Inventor, Manufacturer
Misc: Railroad car wheels; b. in 1797?

Eli Whitney -- b.12/8/1765 d.1/8/1825 (59)
Misc: The Cotton Gin and the concept of mass production of interchangable parts

Josiah Whitney -- b.11/23/1819 d.8/19/1896 (76)

Jim Whittacker -- b.2/10/1929
Misc: the first American to climb Mount Everest

Sir Frank Whittle -- b.6/1/1907 d.8/8/1996 (89)
Aeronautical, Engineer, Inventor, English
Misc: invented a jet engine

Sir Joseph Whitworth -- b.12/21/1803 d.1/22/1887 (83)
Engineer, Inventor, English
Misc: won international recognition as a machine toolmaker.

Edward Whymper -- b.4/27/1840 d.9/16/1911 (71)
Mountaineer, Naturalist, British
Misc: the first to climb Matterhorn in 1865

Heinrich Wieland -- b.6/4/1877 N.S. d.8/5/1957 N.S. (80)
Chemist, German

Wilheim Wien -- b.1/13/1864 d.8/30/1928 (64)
Physicist, German

Norbert Wiener -- b.11/26/1894 d.3/18/1964 (69)
Linguist, Philosopher, Mathematician
Misc: invented cybernetics

Torsten Wiesel -- b.6/3/1924
Scientist, Neurophysiologist, Swedish

Sir Vincent Brian Wigglesworth -- b.4/17/1899 d.2/11/1994 (94)
Scientist, English
Misc: entomologist, noted for his contribution to the study of insect physiology.

Eugene Paul Wigner -- b.11/17/1902 d.1/1/1995 (92)
Mathematician, Physicist, Hungarian
Misc: played a prominent role in the development of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy

Charles Wilkes -- b.4/3/1798 d.2/8/1877 (78)
Naval Officer, Explorer
Misc: sailed around the world

Maurice Wilkes -- b.6/26/1913 d.11/29/2010 (97)
Inventor, Computer Scientist
Misc: invented the stored program concept for computers

Sir George Hubert Wilkins -- b.10/31/1888 d.12/1/1958 (70)
Aviator, Explorer, Australian
Misc: the first to fly over North & South poles; advanced the use of the airplane and pioneered the use of the submarine for polar research.

Maurice Wilkins -- b.12/15/1916 d.10/5/2004 (87)
Scientist, Physicist, Biophysicist, New Zealand
Misc: worked with DNA

Roy Wilkins -- b.8/30/1901 d.9/8/1981 (80)
Pioneer, Editor, Civil Rights Leader, Social Reformer, Political Activist
Misc: N.A.A.C.P.

John Wilkinson -- b.??/??/1728 d.7/14/1808
Misc: pioneered the use and manufacture of cast iron and cast-iron goods in the Industrial Revolution.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams -- b.1/18/1858 d.8/4/1931 (73)
Surgeon, Educator
Misc: performed the first open heart operation

Jonathan Williams -- b.5/20/1751 d.5/16/1815 (63)
Soldier, Engineer, Merchant

Robert R. Williams -- b.2/16/1886 d.10/2/1965 (79)
Chemist, India
Misc: the first to synthesize thiamine (Vitamin B1)

William Carlos Williams -- b.9/17/1883 d.3/4/1963 (79)
Writer, Poet, Doctor, Physician

Hugh Williamson -- b.12/5/1735 d.5/22/1819 (83)
Scientist, Politician
Misc: legislator

James Robert Williamson -- b.10/29/1949
Engineer, Music Producer, Songwriter, Rock & Roll Guitarist
Group Names: The Stooges

Thomas Willis -- b.1/27/1621 J-LD d.11/11/1675 J-LD (54)
Doctor, Physician, English
Misc: he played an important part in the history of anatomy, neurology and psychiatry

Richard Willstatter -- b.8/13/1872 d.8/3/1942 (69)
Chemist, German
Misc: studied the structure of chlorophyll and other plant pigments

Alfred Wilm -- b.6/25/1869 d.8/6/1937 (68)
Scientist, German
Misc: Metallurgist

Alexander Wilson -- b.7/6/1766 d.8/23/1813 (47)
Poet, Scientist, Naturalist, Ornithologist, Scotish

Charles T. R. Wilson -- b.2/14/1869 d.11/15/1959 (90)
Scientist, Scotish

Edmund Beecher Wilson -- b.10/19/1856 d.3/3/1939 (82)
Misc: researches in embryology and cytology

Edward Osborne Wilson -- b.6/10/1929 N.S.
Author, Biologist, Theorist, Naturalist
Misc: recognized as the world's leading authority on ants. He was also the foremost proponent of sociobiology, the study of the genetic basis of the social behaviour of all animals, including humans.

Justin "Cajun Chef" Wilson -- b.4/24/1914 N.S. d.9/5/2001 N.S. (87)
Humorist, Chef

Kenneth Wilson -- b.6/8/1936 d.6/15/2013 (77)

Robert Woodrow Wilson -- b.1/10/1936
Astronomer, Physicist

Newton Horace Winchell -- b.12/17/1839 d.5/2/1914 (74)

Paul Winchell -- b.12/21/1922 d.6/24/2005 (82)
Inventor, Actor, Cartoon Voice Actor, Puppet Actor, Ventriloquist
Names/Places: b. in New York City
Misc: puppetmaster with Jerry Mahoney & Knucklehead Smiff; voiced many Hanna-Barbera shows; The Scrubbing Bubble; artifical heart inventor
TV Shows: The Paul Winchell Show (1950s), Circus Time (ringmaster), Dastardly & Muttley and Their Flying Machines (as Dick Dastardly), Goober & the Ghost Chaser (as Goober), The Smurfs (as Gargamel), Winnie the Pooh (as Tigger)

Major Walter Clopton Wingfield -- b.9/16/1833 d.4/18/1912 (78)
Inventor, Tennis Player, British
Names/Places: NN: The Father of Tennis

John Winthrop -- b.12/19/1714 d.5/3/1779 (64)
Astronomer, Physicist, Educator
Misc: first American astronomer

Louis Wirth -- b.8/28/1897 d.5/3/1952 (54)
Misc: urban problems

John Wise -- b.2/24/1808 N.S. d.9/28/1879 N.S. (71)
Aeronautical, Aviator, Balloonist
Misc: a pioneer in the field of ballooning; unsure of death date

Georg Wittig -- b.6/16/1897 d.8/26/1987 (90)
Chemist, German

Friedrich Wohler -- b.7/31/1800 d.9/23/1882 (82)
Chemist, German
Misc: co-discovered Vandium

Max Wolf -- b.6/21/1863 d.10/3/1932 (69)
Astronomer, German
Misc: Milky Way; applied photography to the search for asteroids and discovered 228 of them.

James Wood -- b.9/14/1816 d.5/4/1882 (65)

Jethro Wood -- b.3/16/1774 d.??/??/1834
Misc: inventor of cheap standardized farm equipment parts

Robert Wood -- b.5/2/1868 d.8/11/1955 (87)

Granville T. Woods -- b.4/23/1856 d.1/30/1910 (53)
Misc: telegraph for railways

Robert Burns Woodward -- b.4/10/1917 d.7/8/1979 (62)
Scientist, Chemist, Professor
Misc: best-known for his syntheses of complex organic substances, including quinine (1944), cholesterol and cortisone (1951), and vitamin B{sub 12} (1971). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1965.

Sir Charles Woolley -- b.4/17/1880 d.2/20/1960 (79)
Scientist, Archaeologist, British

Alfred Worden -- b.2/7/1932
Astronaut, Engineer

Fanny Workman -- b.1/8/1859 d.1/22/1925 (66)
Explorer, Geographer
Misc: mountain climber

Hannah Marie Wormington -- b.9/5/1914 d.5/31/1994 (79)

Sir Christopher Wren -- b.10/20/1632 J-LD or 10/30/1632 N.S. d.2/25/1723 Ju-1 (90) or 3/8/1723 N.S. (90)
Architect, Astronomer, Mathematician, English
Misc: 52 London Churches; greatest English architect of his time, built many of the cathedrals in London

Benjamin Wright -- b.10/10/1770 d.8/24/1842 (71)
Misc: directed the construction of the Erie Canal. Because he trained so many engineers on that project, Wright has been called the "father of American engineering."

John Lloyd Wright -- b.12/12/1892 d.12/20/1972 (80)
Architect, Engineer
Names/Places: Frank's son
Misc: Invented Lincoln Logs in 1916.

Orville Wright -- b.8/19/1871 d.1/30/1948 (77)
Aviator, Inventor
Misc: Airplane co-inventor with brother Wilbur

Sewall Wright -- b.12/21/1889 d.3/3/1988 (98)
Scientist, Geneticist
Names/Places: He was the brother of the political scientist Quincy Wright.
Misc: one of the founders of population genetics

Wilbur Wright -- b.4/16/1867 d.5/30/1912 (45)
Aviator, Inventor
Names/Places: b. in Millville, IN; Orville's brother
Misc: co-inventor first power-driven airplane 12-7-1903 with brother Orville

William Wright -- b.11/4/1871 d.5/16/1959 (87)

Wilhelm Wundt -- b.8/16/1832 d.8/31/1920 (88)
Scientist, Psychologist, German
Misc: father of scientific psychology

Rudolph Wurlitzer -- b.1/31/1831 d.1/14/1914 (82)
Inventor, Manufacturer, German
Misc: the first automatic electric playing organs (Gee Dad It's a Wurlitzer!); born between Jan 30 and Feb 1

Ralph Wyckoff -- b.8/9/1897 d.11/3/1994 (97)
Misc: a pioneer in the application of X-ray methods to determine crystal structures and one of the first to use these methods for studying biological substances.

Nathaniel Wyeth -- b.10/24/1911 d.7/6/1990 (78)
Names/Places: Andrew's brother
Misc: invented the plastic soda bottle

Horace Wyman -- b.11/27/1827 d.5/8/1915 (87)
Misc: 260 patents related to looms & textile machinery

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