Joseph Kaplan (1902-1991) was born in Tapolcza, Hungary, and came to the United States in 1910. He trained as a physicist at The Johns Hopkins University and worked on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley from 1928 until his retirement in 1970. He directed the universityıs Institute of Geophysics, later the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, from the time of its creation in 1944. Kaplan was heavily involved in efforts in the 1950s to launch the first artificial Earth satellite, serving as the chair of the United States National Committee for the International Geophysical Year, 1953-1963. See Joseph Kaplan, ³The Aeronomy Story: A Memoir,² in R. Cargill Hall, ed., Essays on the History of Rocketry and Astronautics: Proceedings of the Third Through the Sixth History Symposia of the International Academy of Astronautics (Washington, DC: NASA Conference Publication 2014, 1977), 2: 423-27; Joseph Kaplan, "The IGY Program," Proceedings of the IRE, June 1956, pp. 741-43; "Joseph Kaplan," biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.
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Last Updated: February 8, 2005.