Maurice Ewing

Maurice Ewing

Maurice Ewing

Birth : William Maurice Ewing (1906-05-12)May 12, 1906 Lockney, Texas

Death : May 4, 1974(1974-05-04)(agedĀ 67) Galveston, Texas

Personal Information

Name Maurice Ewing
Birth (1906-05-12)May 12, 1906 Lockney, Texas
Birth Place Lockney, Texas
Death (1974-05-04)(agedĀ 67) Galveston, Texas
Died At Galveston, Texas
Nationality American
Alma Mater Rice University
Fields geophysics underwater acoustics oceanography
Institution Lehigh University Columbia University University of Texas)
Thesis Calculation of ray paths from seismic travel-time curves(1931)
Doctoral Advisor Harold A. Wilson

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Events Occured in Scienctist Life


He won a scholarship to attend Rice University, earning a B.A. with honors in 1926.


He completed his graduate studies at the same institution, earning an M.A. in 1927 and being awarded his Ph.D. in 1931.


The couple divorced in 1941.Ewing worked as an instructor at the Rice Institute while pursuing his Ph.D. before joining the faculty at Lehigh University in 1930, where he served until 1944.


In 1944 he married Margaret Sloan Kidder, with whom he would have four children.


He moved to Columbia University, becoming a professor of geology in 1947.


In 1959 he was named the Higgins Professor of Geology at Columbia.


Dr. Ewing (often simply called 'Doc' by those who worked with him) was the founder (established in 1949) and first director of Lamont Geological Observatory (now known as Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) in Palisades, New York) where he worked with J. Lamar Worzel (gravity specialist), Dr. Frank Press (seismologist), Jack Nafe, Jack Oliver, and geologists and oceanographic cartographers Dr. Bruce Heezen and Marie Tharp.


He divorced a second time, and married his third wife Harriet Greene Bassett in 1965.


In 1972 he joined the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and was named the head of the Division of Earth and Planetary Sciences of the Marine Biomedical Institute.


Ewing suffered a fatal stroke in 1974 in Galveston, Texas.


Elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (1972)


  • Penrose Medal, 1974 (posthumously)
  • Walter H. Bucher Medal, 1974
  • William Bowie Medal, 1957
  • Arthur L. Day Medal, 1949
  • John J. Carty Award of the National Academy of Sciences, 1963
  • Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, 1955
  • Sidney Powers Memorial Medal, 1968
  • Robert Earl McConnell Award, 1973
  • National Medal of Science, 1973
  • Vega Medal of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography, 1965
  • Cullum Geographical Medal of the American Geographical Society, 1961
  • Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1964
  • Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
  • Elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1956
  • Elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (1972)
  • Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Elected to the American Philosophical Society
  • Foreign Member of the Geological Society of London, 1964
  • Guggenheim Fellow, 1938, 1953, 1955
  • Vetlesen Prize, 1960
  • Eleven honorary degrees
  • Geophysics Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch Marine Science Institute was renamed Maurice Ewing Hall.
  • The Maurice Ewing Medals of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and American Geophysical Union were named after him.
  • The lunar wrinkle ridge Dorsa Ewing was named after him.