Aldrich, Loyal Blaine
BornMilwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 20 November 1884
DiedWashington, District of Columbia, USA, 11 February 1965
Loyal Blaine Aldrich was the third director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory [SAO] (1944–1955) and is best known for his contribution to studies of the solar constant. Loyal was the son of Lafayette and Isabella (Hay) Aldrich. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, earning his bachelor’s degree (1907) and master’s degree (1909). Aldrich became a student of Charles Elwood Mendenhall, a professor of physics who had previously been an assistant to Charles Abbot, an astronomer at the SAO since 1895. This connection enabled Aldrich to build a lifetime career at the SAO. In 1919, he married Elizabeth Stanley and the couple had two sons, Stanley and Lafayette. After Elizabeth’s death in 1941, Aldrich married Sarah Grace Smith in 1943.
In 1909, Aldrich joined the staff at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory as a “bolometric assistant.” The SAO had been founded in...
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