Bradford Washburn, founder and former director of the Boston Science Museum, cartographer, photographer, author, and mountaineer passed away at his home in Lexington, Massachusetts on January 10, 2007 at the age of 96.
Washburn had a love of mountains, photography and education. With those passions he became the first person to climb seven North American peaks. He created maps and discovered climbing routes that are still used today. Most notably, Washburn led a team of scientists who, using global positioning system measurements, revised the height of Mt. Everest to 29,035 feet, seven feet taller than originally thought.
He was an adventurer who photographed mountain peaks from leaning out the side doors of single-engine planes and using a 53-pound camera. His photos from those precarious positions went on to be used in map making, art exhibits, and books.
Washburn graduated from Harvard University in 1933 and in 1960 received his masterâ€™s degree in cartography from Harvard. He was the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and awards, including the American Geological Institute award for Outstanding Contribution to Public understanding of Geology in 1996. To honor his legacy of educating people on the beauty and power of mountains, the museum of American mountaineering in Golden Colorado will be named after him when it opens in the winter of 2008.
Washburn is survived by his wife, Barbara, who shared his passion for mountains, as well as his three children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Tags: In Memorium