Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 406-406


Chant, Clarence Augustus

BornMarkham, (Ontario, Canada), 31 May 1865

DiedRichmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, 18 November 1956

Clarence Chant was the most important organizational figure in twentieth-century Canadian astronomy, having created the first astronomy department in a Canadian university, founded the largest Canadian observatory, and developed the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. The son of Christopher Hull Chant of Somerset, England, and Elizabeth Croft of Markham Township, Ontario, Canada, Chant married Jean Laidlaw; their union produced three children: James, Etta, and Elizabeth.

After high school, Chant taught in rural schools and then entered the University of Toronto, graduating in physics and mathematics in 1890. The following year, he began teaching at the University of Toronto, where he took an MA in 1900. Chant spent a year in the physics department at Harvard University to obtain his Ph.D. in 1901.

After Harvard, Chant returned to the University of Toronto where his interests then shifted from ...

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