Oswald Garrison Villard, Jr.

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Oswald Garrison "Mike" Villard, Jr.

Also Known As: "Mike"
Birthdate: (87)
Birthplace: Dobbs Ferry, Westchester County, New York, United States
Death: January 07, 2004 (87)
Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Oswald Garrison Villard and Julia Breckenridge Villard
Husband of Barbara Slater Villard
Father of Private; Private and Private
Brother of Dorothea Marshall Villard and Henry Hilgard Villard

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Oswald Garrison Villard, Jr.


Oswald Garrison Villard, Jr. (September 17, 1916 - January 7, 2004) was a prominent professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University.

Early life and education

Villard was born in Dobbs Ferry, New York, to a distinguished family. He was great-grandson of William Lloyd Garrison, the famed abolitionist, and the grandson of Henry Villard, owner of the New York Evening Post and The Nation, who financed the work of Thomas Edison (by coincidence, Villard, jr's academic advisor was Terman, whose advisor was Bush, whose advisor was Kennelly, who worked for Edison). His father was Oswald Garrison Villard, Sr., owner of Post and The Nation, a prominent Pacifist and civil rights activist.

Villard received his bachelor's degree in English literature from Yale University in 1938, and his doctorate from Stanford in 1949.

Academic career

In between his degrees, Villard worked first as a research associate 1939-1941 and instructor 1941-1942 under Professor Frederick E. Terman at Stanford, then at Harvard University's Radio Research Laboratory, designing electronic countermeasures. By 1955 was a full professor at Stanford, which position he held until retirement in 1987. His PhD students include Mac Van Valkenburg and Kung Chie Yeh (Prof of EE at UIUC).

At Stanford, Villard used radar to study electrical disturbances in the upper atmosphere caused by meteor trails, nuclear explosions, and rocket launches. His most famous work may be his 1959 efforts in over-the-horizon radar, which worked by reflecting high-frequency radar from the ionosphere. In 1969 Villard moved his group to Stanford Research Institute, where he developed "stealth" technologies to counteract radar and sonar.

Memberships and awards

Villard was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as a member on the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (1961-75) and the Naval Research Advisory Committee (1967-75), which he chaired from 1973 to 1975.

His awards include the 1957 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award from the Institute of Radio Engineers, Meritorious Civilian Service Award from the Department of the Air Force, Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, and the IEEE Centennial Medal in 1984. Stanford has established a graduate student fellowship in his name.

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Oswald Garrison Villard, Jr.'s Timeline

September 17, 1916
Dobbs Ferry, Westchester County, New York, United States
January 7, 2004
Age 87
Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California, United States