Lloyd V. Berkner (1905-1967) was involved in most of the early spaceflight activities of the United States in some capacity. He received a bacheloršs degree from the University of Minnesota and later attended George Washington University, although he never received an advanced degree. Trained as an electrical engineer, he was at first interested in atmospheric propagation of radio waves, but after World War II became a leading scientific entrepreneur. He was the key figure in the exchange of scientific information during the International Geophysical Year in 1957-1958, and helped to shape space policy following the Russian success with Sputnik. From 1951 until 1960, Berkner served as the head of Associated Universities, Inc., charged with running the Brookhaven Laboratories for the Atomic Energy Commission. In 1961, he became president of the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, and four years later, was named director. Berkner died from a heart attack on 4 June 1967, less than a year after receiving the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal for his work in pioneering the advancement of space science. See "Lloyd V. Berkner,˛ biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
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Last Updated: January 27, 2005.