Secretary of the Air Force from Oct. 1, 1965 to Feb. 14, 1969
Harold Brown was the eighth secretary of the Air Force.
He was born in New York City in 1927. He received a bachelor's degree in 1945, a master's degree in 1946, and a doctor's degree in physics in 1949, all from Columbia University. In 1964 he was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of engineering by Stevens Institute of Technology. In 1967, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
During the period 1947 to 1952, Brown lectured in physics and was a member of the scientific staff at Columbia University; lectured in physics at Stevens Institute of Technology; and spent a year in post-doctoral research at Columbia. He then joined the University of California Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley as research scientist in 1950.
In 1952, Brown became a staff member when the Livermore, Calif., site of the E.O. Lawrence Radiation Laboratory was established. In July 1960, he became Director of the laboratory at Livermore.
From 1956 to 1957, Brown was a consultant to the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board; and he was a member of the Board from 1958 to 1961. From 1956 to 1958, he also was a member of the Polaris Steering Committee.
From November 1958 to February 1959, Brown was Senior Scientific Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Discontinuance of Nuclear Weapons Tests. From 1958 to 1961, he was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Ballistic Missiles to the Secretary of Defense.
In 1961, Brown was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Year by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce and also received the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award. In 1963, he was awarded the Columbia University Medal of Excellence.
Brown was a consultant to several panels of the President's Science Advisory Committee, from 1958 to 1960, and was appointed a member of the Committee in 1961.
He had served previously as Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the Department of Defense from May 3, 1961 to Sept. 30, 1965.
His research interests included nuclear explosive design, applications of nuclear explosives to military and non-military purposes, controlled release of thermonuclear energy, nuclear reactors-of advanced design and weapon systems of numerous kinds. He also has conducted research and analysis in the problems of detecting nuclear explosions in various environments, and has participated in a number of studies in the area of arms limitation and control.