Dr. Wiener, World Famous Scientist, Dies at 69; Was Father of Automation
Menu JTA Search

Dr. Wiener, World Famous Scientist, Dies at 69; Was Father of Automation

Download PDF for this date

Dr. Norbert Wiener, world-renowned scientist, who was considered the father of automation–the son of a Russian-born Jewish peddler who himself rose to become the first professor of Slavonic languages at Harvard–died yesterday at Stockholm. Announcement of the death was made here today by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Dr. Wiener served on the faculty for 42 years, retiring as full professor in 1960. He was 69.

He was born in Columbia, Mo., the son of Leo and Bertha Kahn Wiener. A child prodigy, he entered Tufts College at the age of 11, graduated with a degree in mathematics at 14, continued his studies and obtained the degree of doctor of philosophy from Harvard at 19.

Last January, President Johnson awarded to Dr. Wiener one of the five National Medals of Science for his contributions to the nation. His citation called him “one of the world’s greatest mathematicians and one of MIT’s most distinguished professors.”

One of the world’s greatest mathematicians, Norbert Wiener was best known for his book in 1948 on cybernetics. Cybernetics is described by scientists as the analysis of electronic and mechanical controls in industry and in daily life, forming the basis of modern automation and the use of todays giant, electronic computers. He was a prolific writer, not only in scientific fields but also in philosophy.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund