John George Trump (born 1907)

Wikipedia 🌐 John G. Trump

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Born John George Trump August 21, 1907 New York City

Died February 21, 1985 (aged 77) Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.


Known for


John George Trump (August 21, 1907 – February 21, 1985) was an American electrical engineer, inventor, and physicist. A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1936 to 1973, he was a recipient of U.S. President Ronald Reagan's National Medal of Science and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.[3][4][5] John Trump was noted for developing rotational radiation therapy.[3] Together with Robert J. Van de Graaff, he developed one of the first million-volt X-ray generators. He was the paternal uncle of Donald Trump, who would later go on to become the 45th president of the United States.

Early life

Trump was the youngest of three children and the second son of German immigrants Frederick Trump and Elizabeth Christ Trump. He was born in New York City on August 21, 1907.

John's brother, Fred, joined their mother in real estate development and management while still in his teens (Elizabeth Trump & Son). Initially, John and his brother tried working together building houses, but ultimately they dissolved their partnership, and John pursued a career in electrical engineering.

Trump received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the New York University Tandon School of Engineering (then Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn) in 1929, his master's degree in physics from Columbia University, and his doctorate of electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1933. He was a professor at MIT from 1936 until 1973.

War service

During World War II, Trump switched from work on hospital X-ray machines to research into similar technologies with a more direct application to warfare, especially the development of radar. During 1940, he joined the newly formed National Defense Research Committee (NDRC), as technical aide to Karl Compton, President of MIT and the Chairman of the Radar Division.[6]

During 1942, Trump became Secretary of the Microwave Committee, a sub-committee of the NDRC. The director of the Microwave Committee was Alfred Lee Loomis, the millionaire physicist, who decided to create a laboratory. He selected a site for it, chose a suitably discreet and ambiguous name for it and funded the construction, until the Federal administration was established. The new institution was the MIT Radiation Laboratory, or the "Rad Lab". The British were also researching radar, which they termed Radio Direction Finder (RDF), and had started much earlier. Their Tizard Mission to the US showed how much more sophisticated they were with some of the technologies, particularly the magnetron. The US decided to send a team to Britain to help coordinate the efforts of the two Allies. The unit was known as the "British Branch of the Radiation Laboratory" (BBRL) and operated as a department of Britain's Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) at Malvern, in Worcestershire. In 1943, as the technical aide in Division 14 of the NDRC, Trump reviewed and analyzed the papers of Nikola Tesla when the inventor died in a New York City hotel. The research was completed on behalf of the Alien property Custodian office in Washington DC. From February 1944 to the end of the war in Europe, Trump was the Director of the BBRL.[7]

During this time, Trump also served in the Advisory Specialist Group on Radar, advising USAAF General Carl Spaatz on navigational radar, precision-bombing radar, and also defenses against the German radars found in their night-fighters and in their flak units. The systems included: Gee, Oboe, LORAN, H2X, MEW & SCR-584. Trump worked with all the most important British radar experts, including Sir Robert Watson-Watt, A.P. Rowe and Bernard Lovell. At the end of the war, Trump also had interviews with Germany's main radar technicians.[8][9] Trump received recognition for his war-work from both the United States and the United Kingdom.[10][11][3]


John G. Trump is a member of the Trump family. He married Elora Sauerbrun (1913–1983), and they had three children: the late John Gordon Trump (1938–2012) of Watertown, Massachusetts; Christine Philp of New London, New Hampshire; and Karen Ingraham of Los Alamos, New Mexico; and six grandchildren.[3][12] Trump's nephew Donald John Trump became the 45th president of the United States in 2017.

Later life

During 1946 Trump, Robert J. Van de Graaff, and Denis M. Robinson initiated the High Voltage Engineering Corporation (HVEC) to produce Van de Graaff generators.[3]

He returned to MIT to teach and direct research for three decades after the war. Trump died in Boston on February 21, 1985.[13]

The National Academy of Engineering described Trump as "a pioneer in the scientific, engineering and medical applications of high voltage machinery".[4] James Melcher, Trump's lab director, is quoted as saying: "John, over a period of three decades, would be approached by people of all sorts because he could make megavolt beams of ions and electrons – death rays. ... What did he do with it? Cancer research, sterilizing sludge out in Deer Island [a waste disposal facility], all sorts of wondrous things. He didn't touch the weapons stuff."[14]

Awards and honors

Trump received a number of awards including:

1985 (Feb. 26)- Obituary - NY Times - "JOHN TRUMP DIES; ENGINEER WAS 78"


Dr. John G. Trump, a retired teacher and engineer, died Thursday at his home in Cambridge, Mass., after a long illness. He was 78 years old.

Dr. Trump began studying the voltage-insulation properties of high vacuum and compressed gases while a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Working with Prof. Robert J. Van de Graaff, he designed one of the first million-volt X-ray generators. Used initially for clinical purposes at the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital in Boston in 1937, it was a development that provided additional years of life to cancer patients throughout the world.

In 1946, Dr. Trump, along with Dr. Van de Graaff and Dr. Denis M. Robinson, founded the High Voltage Engineering Corporation, which developed the Van de Graaff electrostatic generator.

In World War II Dr. Trump was influential in the development of radar and short-wave radar equipment. He was appointed director of the British branch of the M.I.T. Radiation Lab in 1944.

After the war. Dr. Trump, while still on the faculty at M.I.T., became associated with the Department of Radiology at the Lahey Clinic in Boston and later became chairman of its board. Under his direction rotational radiation therapy was developed, ''an idea that created quite a stir in those days,'' he recalled later. He also conceived and developed the use of high-energy electrons in the treatment of superficial skin lesions.

He Received Emeritus Status

He became professor emeritus at M.I.T. in 1973, remaining on as a senior lecturer.

He was the author of nearly 80 scientific publications and the recipient of many awards, including His Majesty's Medal, given by George VI in 1947; the President's Certificate of Merit, presented by President Truman in 1948; and the Lamme Medal, awarded in 1960 by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. In 1983, he was the recipent of the National Medal of Science.

He was a graduate of the Polytechnic Institute in 1929, received a master's degree in physics from Columbia University in 1931 and a doctorate from M.I.T. in 1933.

Dr. Trump is survived by three children, John Gordon Trump of Watertown, Mass., Christine Philp of Pittsfield, Mass., and Karen Ingraham of Los Alamos, N. M.; and six grandchildren. He was the brother of Frederick C. Trump and the uncle of Donald Trump, New York real estate developers.

A funeral service will be held Sunday at 2:30 P.M. at the Unitarian Church in Winchester, Mass.

Evidence Timeline

1927 (Nov 21)

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1928 (September)- Trump family sailing back from Germany to New York City

1928 (Dec 10)

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1929 (Sep 24)

Valedictorian , Brooklyn Polytechnic. Will tech english, electrical engineering


John Trump - President of faculty club at Brooklyn Polytechnic

June 08, 1932 - Receives "du pont fellowship for graduate study"

Presented by - SIR Henry THornton


June 23, 1932 - Best man at wedding (also - )

1934 (Dec 30)

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1935 (September) - sailing back from England - with "Jane Trump"

1935 (May 24)

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1936 (October 1)

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1936 (October 10)

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1936 (Nov 06) - Trump + Vannevar Bush

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1937 (April 15)

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1940 (Octover) - WW2 draft card

1942 (Sep 19)

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1944 (Sep 4) - Returning from France

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1946 (Jan 13)

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1947 (Dec 05)

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1950 (April 14)

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1950 (April 14)

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1951 (Jan 28)

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1953 (Nov 18) - Use of Van DeGraaff's X-Ray generator / HVEC

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1953 (Nov 6)

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1958 - Trip to USA from England

UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 for John G Trump - Southampton, England 1958 July ; Full page : [HJ000L][GDrive]

1960s - Travels to Brazil



1956 (Sep)

1959 (April)

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1967 (July 20)

1968 (June)



Son John Gordon Trump


TRUMP, John Gordon 73 years young, went home to the Lord, September 25, 2012, surrounded by family at home in Winchester, Massachusetts, after a nineteen year battle with cancer. Born November 10, 1938, in Boston, Massachusetts, to John George Trump and Elora Gordon Sauerbrun, he graduated from Winchester High School, Bowdoin College, and MIT. In 1969 he married Gisela Steinmann. As a self-employed contractor he enjoyed engineering new ideas for the many homes he renovated or built from the ground up. John was an avid hiker, biker, rock climber, swimmer, windsurfer, musician, dancer, gardener, and lover of life. Mr. Trump is survived by his wife of forty-three years, Gisela Trump, and two children, Thomas John Trump and Sylvia Trump Sexton; one grandson; two sisters, Christine Philp and Karen Ingraham; as well as many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, other relatives, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his grandparents, mother-in-law, Hedwig Steinmann, and his beloved Labrador, Lucy.

2018 - A profile of John Trump, Donald’s oft-mentioned scientist uncle


The president’s uncle was an MIT physicist and engineer who made his mark in the development of high-voltage generators, World War II radar, and cancer therapies.

Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article that was published during the 2016 presidential campaign.

President Trump doesn’t talk much about science. But when he does, there is an excellent chance he will bring up his late uncle John.

Asked about climate change in a 16 October 2018 interview, Trump said the climate is warming but is apt to cool down again in the future. Confronted with the contrary opinion of scientists, Trump replied that scientists disagree about the issue. Pointing out that his uncle John was “a great professor at MIT for many years,” he assured his interviewer, “I have a natural instinct for science.”

During his run for the presidency, Trump invoked his uncle as evidence of his genetic predisposition for intelligence. He has also said that conversations with his uncle made him appreciate the complex politics of nuclear weapons.

Princeton University physicist William Happer, a senior staff member with the National Security Council, told E&E News that when he was being considered to direct the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Trump spoke to him about his uncle’s work on Van de Graaff generators. “That really floored me,” recalled Happer, who knew Trump’s uncle.

Who was this uncle to whom the world of science is so inextricably tied in the president’s mind?

John George Trump was born in New York City in 1907. He was the younger brother of Donald’s father, Fred, who went into real estate before he finished high school. With financial assistance from his older brother, John enrolled in the Polytechnic Institution of Brooklyn, intending to become an architect and go into business with Fred. However, he switched to electrical engineering and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1929. He went on to Columbia University and received a master’s degree in physics in 1931.

John Trump then left New York for MIT and earned his doctorate in electrical engineering in 1933, working under physicist Robert J. Van de Graaff (see Physics Today, February 1967, page 49). Trump continued on at MIT as a research associate before receiving an appointment there as an assistant professor of electrical engineering in 1936.

During the 1930s Trump built an enduring partnership with Van de Graaff developing high-voltage electrostatic generators. In 1933 Van de Graaff completed a spectacular 12-meter-high generator that was capable of producing a potential difference of 5 million V and had to be housed in an airship hangar about 100 km south of Boston. Trump later contributed to the redesign of the generator when it was relocated to the Theater of Electricity at Boston’s Museum of Science, where it is still demonstrated. Trump became a life trustee of the museum.

Van de Graaff originally designed his generator to be a particle accelerator, but he and his collaborators quickly found applications in high-voltage x-ray generation as well. In 1937 a 1 MV x-ray generator was installed at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Boston, where it supplemented radium in cancer therapies. Medical applications of high-voltage radiation ultimately became a major focus of Trump’s work. Circa 1960 he was one of the pioneers of rotational radiation therapy, which limits the dose delivered to healthy tissue. (You can watch him describe his work in a video at MIT’s Infinite History website.)

In 1939 Trump and Boston Navy Yard engineer Carlton Lutts found that the Huntington Memorial generator could also produce a radiographic image of thick steel in 100 seconds, whereas using radium it took about 65 hours. That capability would soon substantially improve manufacturers’ ability to inspect for defects, and it played an important role in US shipbuilding and aircraft construction during World War II.

Trump concentrated his own wartime work on the new technology of radar. In 1940 a technical mission from the UK introduced US researchers to the cavity magnetron, which enabled radar to operate using centimeter wavelengths, greatly expanding its efficacy and range of applications (see Physics Today, July 1985, page 60). The new National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) established a microwave committee, which initiated a radar research and development program at MIT. Trump was among the first to join. The effort soon grew into the MIT Radiation Laboratory, or “Rad Lab,” which by 1945 was employing some 4000 people.

Trump became the secretary of the microwave committee in 1942 after its first secretary, MIT electrical engineer Edward Bowles, left to advise the secretary of war on radar implementation. Trump also spent the first part of the war as a liaison from NDRC to the Rad Lab and served as an adviser and assistant to MIT president Karl Compton. In 1943, after the enigmatic Nikola Tesla’s death, the Federal Bureau of Investigation asked Trump to examine Tesla’s papers to determine whether he had been working on anything that might have relevance to the war. Trump found he had not.

Meanwhile, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Rad Lab had begun receiving requests for prototype radar units to be sent directly to the field before the equipment could be thoroughly tested and standardized. Developing equipment on such a “crash” basis soon became routine. Researchers and engineers started to accompany units to the field to glean performance data under combat conditions. During that work, they also troubleshot new equipment and helped develop methods for integrating it into operations.

Initially, much of that fieldwork was done by “operations research” groups and teams of expert consultants working for Bowles. However, in 1943 the Rad Lab established a British Branch (BBRL), which created a direct channel between the lab and the European Theater. Trump became the head of BBRL in February 1944. By November he had begun shuttling back and forth between Great Britain and forward military positions on the continent, serving a dual role with BBRL and with Bowles’s contingent working for the US Army Air Forces in Europe.

By mid-April 1945, Trump was in Germany, interviewing enemy radar engineers. Those encounters gave Trump the opportunity to compare the US and UK radar effort with that of the Germans. He was impressed by the differences in organization. As he recorded in his war diary, “Just as there was a gap between German scientists and industrialists, there was also an even greater gap between both of these and the military. It was virtually impossible for a scientist or engineer to accompany radar equipment into combat areas to observe its performance or to assist in training.”

After the war Trump became the director of MIT’s High-Voltage Research Laboratory, a position he held from 1946 until his retirement in 1980. In 1946 Trump cofounded the High Voltage Engineering Corporation (HVE) with Van de Graaff and British electrical engineer Denis Robinson, who had been a liaison to the Rad Lab during the war. Trump became the company’s chairman and technical director, and he took an active role in developing its accelerator business and several subsidiary companies. Trump was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1983 for his lifetime of path-breaking work.

A unifying theme of Trump’s career was his facility in moving back and forth between research and the search for practical applications. In his obituary of Trump (see Physics Today, September 1985, page 90), Robinson recalled that his business partner had “an obstinate optimism that could fly in the face of all results and facts available to him and his coworkers.”

That was not the same drive animating Trump’s by-then-famous nephew’s pursuit of real estate glory. Describing John Trump’s personality, Robinson wrote, “He was remarkably even-tempered, with kindness and consideration to all, never threatening or arrogant in manner, even when under high stress. He was outwardly and in appearance the mildest of men, with a convincing persuasiveness, carefully marshalling all his facts.”

Those characteristics ultimately made John Trump more of a scientist and engineer than a businessman. According to Robinson, “He cared very little for money and the trappings of money.” But without mentioning Trump’s family relations, Robinson slipped in as an aside that “he did understand land.” The property Trump persuaded HVE to purchase in Burlington, on Boston’s famed technology corridor, Route 128—“turned out to be worth as much as many years of the company’s profitable output.”

William Thomas is a science policy analyst for FYI at the American Institute of Physics, which also publishes Physics Today. The portions of this piece relating to World War II derive from the author’s book, Rational Action: The Sciences of Policy in Britain and America, 1940–1960, published last year by MIT Press.

John Trump helped redesign these 12-meter-high Van de Graaff generators, seen here in an airship hangar at Round Hill, Massachusetts. The generators are now at Boston’s Museum of Science. Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives


John Trump (right) rides in a military jeep with Lee DuBridge, director of the MIT Radiation Lab, in Paris during World War II. Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives


John Trump (right) founded the High Voltage Engineering Corporation with Robert Van de Graaff (left) and Denis Robinson. AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Physics Today Collection, courtesy Nancy Sirkus


1985 - Physics Today Memorial


Physics Today 38, 9, 90 (1985)


Pysics Today 38, 9, page 92 (1985)


1984 book - National Academy of Engineering - Memorial Tributes: Volume 3


John George Trump


By Louis Smullin

John George Trump, a pioneer in the scientific, engineering, and medical applications of high voltage machinery, died on February 21, 1985. Married to the late Elora Trump, John left three children: John, Karen, and Christine.

At the time of his death, John Trump was professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He was also senior consultant for the High Voltage Engineering Corporation, the company he founded in 1946 and where, until 1970, he served as chairman of the board and then, until 1980, as technical director.

John Trump was born in New York City on August 21, 1907. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1929 and an M.S. in physics from Columbia University in 1931. In 1933 he received a D.Sc. in electrical engineering from MIT, where he became a research associate in that same year, an assistant professor in 1936, and a professor in 1952. Trump formally retired in 1973, although he continued his active research program as professor emeritus until 1980.

John Trump came to MIT to work with Professor Robert J. Van de Graaff in what was then the new field of super-high voltage generation and applications. "Van's" main interest was in the application of his new electrostatic generator in the field of nuclear physics. John Trump had two main interests: the insulation of super-high voltages in vacuum and compressed gases and the biological applications of high voltage radiation. These wide-ranging biological applications included the treatment of cancer by megavolt (Mev) X-radiation and electron beams, extensive pioneering studies of food preservation by electron beams, and the treatment of sewage and sludge by 2-Mev electron beams.

With grants from the Godfrey M. Hyams Fund, Trump and his young assistants designed and built an air-insulated megavolt generator that was installed at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in 1937. It was large and awe inspiring. On wet days, the generator crackled and sparked or just died, but the conspicuous advantages of its megavolt X-ray therapy soon became clear. The greater penetration depth of these radiations, compared to lower energy X-rays, permitted more deeply seated tumors to be treated with minimal damage to adjoining tissues.

In 1938, with continued funding from the Hyams Fund, the team began the design of a new, compact 1.25-Mev generator that would be insulated with compressed gas. This particular machine was installed in the George Robert White Hospital of the Massachusetts General Hospital, where it remained in active use for sixteen years. Trump then undertook the building of a 1.75-Mev machine for the American Oncological Hospital of Philadelphia—until World War II intervened, that is, and the machine was taken by the U.S. Army for use in the Manhattan Project.

During World War II, Trump interrupted his high-voltage career to work on microwave radar in the MIT Radiation Lab. He served for a time as field services director and was then posted to the British branch of the Radiation Lab. In 1944 he was named director of the lab and given the responsibility of working directly with the Eisenhower Military Command. At the liberation of Paris, Trump rode into the city with General Eisenhower and immediately began to set up the Paris branch of the Radiation Lab.

His diary of this period is fascinating reading, especially for those of us who remember the significance of H2X, Oboe, Loran, MEW, SCR 584, and other sets of initials from the alphabet soup of the day. For his wartime service, John Trump received a Presidential Citation and the King's Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom.

After the closing of the Radiation Lab in 1946, Dr. Trump quickly picked up the threads of his previous high-voltage research. He formed the High Voltage Engineering Company to put electrostatic high voltage machines to work. Van de Graaff generators were soon in use all over the world with a wide range of applications, including those in physics research, the sterilization of surgical instruments, the cross-linking of polymers, and the radiography of welds and castings.

Trump's main efforts and interests, however, remained on the MIT campus, where he initiated a long series of experiments, supported by the Natick Laboratory of the Army Quartermaster Corps, in the preservation of food by high voltage radiation. There was also a continuing train of experiments on the bactericidal and viricidal effectiveness of high voltage radiation. Much new work as done on compressed gas insulation, but his most noteworthy contributions were in the treatment of cancer by radiation.

Dr. Trump and his staff began a systematic study of the problems of delivering radiation to deep tumors without destroying the intervening healthy tissue. From their research came an improved technique of rotating the patient 360 degrees about the tumor site, so that the radiation beam entered the body from all directions but focused on the tumor. The team also developed techniques for static and dynamic beam shaping to protect healthy tissues. This work led to a cooperative twenty-five-year research venture with the Lahey Clinic: the setting up of a treatment facility in the MIT High Voltage Lab, where patients were routinely treated under the joint supervision of Trump, his staff, and the Lahey Clinic physicians. Ultimately, more than ten thousand patients were treated.

Until 1950 nearly all high-voltage radiation therapy was done with X-rays generated by the impact of a high-voltage electron beam against a gold target inside a vacuum. In a 1940 paper, Trump, Van de Graaff, and Cloud had suggested using direct high-voltage electrons because of the uniquely different way they penetrated matter.

Although X-rays are absorbed more or less uniformly as they traverse the body from the skin inward, high-energy electrons produce very little ionization until their energy falls below a critical value. They then do all of their ionizing within a very short distance and almost never extend beyond it. The first clinical test of this new technique was made in 1951. The technique offered an ideal way to treat many superficial malignancies, and soon after its initial use, it became a standard method of treatment.

Dr. Trump began his last major effort in 1976. Like all concerned citizens, he was offended by the dumping of millions of gallons of barely treated or raw sewage into our harbors and waterways. His calculations showed that a 2-Mev electron radiation system compared favorably with chlorine treatment on an economic basis, had the additional advantage of destroying many viruses, and appeared to dissociate PCBs and similar compounds into less noxious forms. With National Science Foundation support, Trump and his associates built a pilot plant at the Deer Island Sewage Plant in Boston Harbor. In addition, based on the valuable electron radiation data produced at the Deer Island plant, a commercial sewage treatment plant has been built for the greater Miami area.

John Trump was truly a pioneer in the field of high voltage engineering and high voltage machinery and in the medical applications of high energy radiation. He was the author or coauthor of more than one hundred papers and the recipient of many honors from numerous engineering and medical societies. John Trump was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1977. The latest award bestowed upon him was the National Medal of Science, which was presented posthumously in February 1985.

His mixture of personal technical work and quiet leadership produced many important discoveries. John Trump will be missed by his worldwide circle of colleagues and friends.

1998 interview of Mortimer Elkind


National Cancer Institute Oral History Project

Interview with Mortimer Elkind

Conducted on July 30, 1998, by Gretchen A. Casein

Conducted at Dr. Elkind's office at Colorado State University

  • GC:
    • This is Gretchen Case, talking to Dr. Mortimer Elkind. We are in his office in FortCollins, Colorado, at Colorado State University. Today is July 30, 1998, and it is about3:00 p.m. I usually just like to start by asking about your background and about how you came to the National Cancer Institute.
  • ME:
    • I have a peculiar background. My original training was in engineering. I was a mechanical engineer, a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Engineering. Shortly after that I had a job working as an engineer and then I was drafted into the Navy. I got out of the service and I had the GI Bill of Rights.
    • I started working as an engineer for the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, which was a research arm of the Memorial Cancer Hospital in New York City. While I was there, I was recruited by a person from the NCI in Bethesda. I'll think of his name after a while. In any event, he sent me to MIT to study a particle accelerator that hew anted to get for the National Cancer Institute. I was working in the laboratory where the particle accelerator had been developed, the laboratory of John Trump.
    • While I was there, I decided with my GI Bill of Rights to go to school and I did do just that. So I went to school. At that point, the person whose name I didn't remember is Egon Lorenz, L-o-r-e-n-z. He was a biophysicist in charge of various things connected with radiation at the National Cancer Institute. He recruited me while I was at SloanKettering Institute and at that point I already had one master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute. Well, part of the idea that he had was to send me off to John Trump's laboratory to learn about the care and feeding of a particle accelerator called the Van de Graaf accelerator, V-a-n d-e G-r-a-a-f, which I did.
    • While I was there I decided to apply my school credits and go to school while a guest at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I obtained another master's degree while I was there, in physics, and went on to do a Ph.D. in physics. I didn't do any biology whileI was there. By the time I finished, which was after a four-year period, Dr. Lorenz suggested that I might want some postdoctoral work, which I thought was a good idea. He gave me a choice of doing physics or doing biology. I chose biology and went out toBerkeley, where I became a postdoc fellow in Tobias's laboratory, Cornelius Tobias's laboratory, at the Donner Lab at the University of California at Berkeley
  • GC:
    • That was Cornelius Tobias?
  • ME:
    • Tobias. T-o-b-i-a-s. I was out there about nine or ten months, when I was called back to the East Coast because Lorenz had died in the interim. He had a rather weak heart. Dr. Burroughs Mider, who was the scientific director, wanted me to get things going in Bethesda. Very nicely, he allowed me to set up my own laboratory with my own technician, Harriet Sutton. He invited me to do whatever I was interested in. So I started working in biology and worked on yeast biology, actually yeast radiobiology. That was in 1954.
    • A few years later, Ted Puck, here in Denver, introduced quantitative procedures for working with mammalian cells in culture. I thought that was a great idea to start working on the radiobiology of mammalian cells. So I came out to Puck’s laboratory for about a week and had a course that a number of people attended and I was one of them. I think I was here a week and a weekend up in the mountains. I went home and converted my laboratory from yeast to mammalian cells, with the encouragement of Bo Mider, who was the Scientific Director at the NCI