Born Mlec, (Austria), 8 February 1907
Died Pompano Beach, Florida, USA, 10 October 1998
William Markowitz devoted most of his career to improving astronomical measurements for determining time, and then to establishing new time systems based on atomic standards rather than astronomical measurements. His efforts, as director of the United States Naval Observatory [USNO] Time Service Department, resulted in greatly improved international cooperation on matters related to time.
Markowitz was the son of Hyman and Rebecca (née Baumstein, from Poland) Markowitz. In 1910, he immigrated with his family to Chicago, Illinois, USA. His early interest in astronomy developed at Crane Technical High School in Chicago and Crane Junior College, where Markowitz took a course in astronomy. He entered the University of Chicago and obtained his B.S. (1927), M.S. (1929), and Ph.D. in astronomy (1931). Markowitz married Rosalyn Shulemson in 1943; they had one son, Toby.
After teaching at Pennsylvania...