Pritchett Henry Smith
(16.04.1857 – 28.08.1939)
Born in Fayette, Missouri, in the family of astronomer Carr Waller Pritchett. He studied at a college in Glasgow, Missouri and in 1875 received a bachelor's degree.
Then Pritchett spent two years studying with Asaf Hall at the US Naval Observatory, reaching the level of assistant astronomer.
In 1880 he returned to Glasgow and became a member of the Morrison Observatory headed by his father.
In 1882 Pritchett took part in an expedition to New Zealand, where, as an astronomer, he observed the passage of Venus.
In 1883 he accepted an appointment as professor of mathematics and astronomy and director of the observatory at Washington University in St. Louis.
In the early 1890s after an internship in Germany, Pritchett received a Ph.D. from the University of Munich. Then during the years 1894-1897 he led the US Coastal and Geodetic Survey.
From 1900 until 1906 Pritchett led the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The completion of his career was as president of the Carnegie Foundation for theAdvancement of Teaching, which he held from 1906 until his retirement in 1930.
Pritchett also served as the first president of the National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education, was the trustee of the Carnegie Institution in Washington.
He died in Santa Barbara, California. Buried in the Santa Barbara Cemetery.
Return to the main page