Newell, Homer E. (1915–1983)
Homer Newell was an internationally recognized authority in atmospheric and space science. Newell earned his PhD in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin in 1940 and served as a theoretical physicist and mathematician at the Naval Research Laboratory from 1944–58. During part of that period, he was science program coordinator for Project Vanguard and acting superintendent of the atmosphere and astrophysics division. In 1958, he transferred to NASA to assume responsibility for planning and developing the new agency's space science program. He soon became deputy director of spaceflight programs. In 1961 he assumed directorship of the office of space sciences, and in 1963 became associate administrator for space science and applications. Over the course of his career, he became an internationally-known authority in the field of atmospheric and space sciences, as well as the author of numerous scientific articles and seven books, including Beyond the Atmosphere: Early Years of Space Science. He retired from NASA in 1973.