Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 738-738

Date:

Ford, Clinton Banker

BornAnn Arbor, Michigan, USA, 1 March 1913

DiedWilton, Connecticut, USA, 23 September 1992

Though trained as a professional, Clinton Banker Ford’s career in astronomy was primarily as an amateur astronomer. He completed all requirements for a Ph.D. at Brown University except his dissertation. After his research was interrupted for service in World War II, Ford worked for a period as an applied physicist. However, his success as an investor allowed him to retire from employment at a very early age and pursue variable star astronomy full-time as a leisure activity. Ford contributed over 60,000 variable star observations to the American Association of Variable Star Observers [AAVSO] archives, but his impact on the organization was profound in many other ways. Ford served as AAVSO secretary for 44 years and as its president in 1960/1961. He was active in preparation of charts to aide variable star observers, drafting hundreds of preliminary charts to start new program stars. In 1987, Ford donated a building to the AAVSO for use as its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and left a substantial endowment to support AAVSO activities in perpetuity.

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