Wednesday, May 20, 2009
SAN DIEGO U.C. San Diego is mourning the loss of its founding chancellor Herbert F. York. Officials say he'll be remembered for his contributions to the campus, but also for defining the country's policy on nuclear weapons.
York began his tenure at the university in 1960, serving four years. He's credited with helping to make UCSD a powerhouse for scientific research and technology.
York himself was one the country's most influential scientist and physicist. Historians say he'll probably be most remembered for helping to develop the atomic bomb as a scientist with the top-secret Manhattan Project.
York later switched philosophical positions and became a strong supporter of arms control, advising six U.S. presidents on arms and armament.
Current UCSD Chancellor Mary Anne Fox knew York. She says he was like a walking history book.
"He would love to regale us all on things that happened at the Manhattan project," Fox said. "He gave such a talk at a dinner just a month ago. We all gathered around his chair and listened to what he had to say about global conflict, what advice he would give to President Obama, and how Obama differs from Eisenhower."
York held numerous distinguished titles and earned a myriad of awards. He also authored six books.
York passed away at UCSD's Thorton Hospital. He was 87.