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Subject: Harry Woolf, 79, Historian and Administrator

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Date Posted: January 09, 2003 4:47:50 EDT

Harry Woolf, a historian of science who, as director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, helped triple its endowment, died at his home in Princeton on Monday. He was 79.

The cause was complications of Parkinson's disease, the institute announced.

Appointed head of the institute in 1976 after serving as provost of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Woolf showed a talent for fund-raising, increasing the institute's endowment from $51.7 million in 1975 to $187.9 million in 1987, the year he stepped down as director to become professor at large. He took emeritus status in 1994.

The Institute for Advanced Study is devoted to research, takes no undergraduates and gives no degrees. It now has an endowment of more than $400 million.

Dr. Woolf was born in New York City. After serving in the Army during World War II, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Chicago in mathematics, physics and history in 1948 and 1949. In 1955, he received his doctorate in the history of science from Cornell University.

From 1953 to 1976, Dr. Woolf taught physics and the history of science at Boston University, Brandeis University and the University of Washington before moving to Johns Hopkins, where he was Willis K. Shepard professor of the history of science from 1961 to 1976. He became provost in 1972.

Dr. Woolf was also a visiting professor at universities in India and six West African countries.

He wrote "The Transits of Venus: A Study of Eighteenth-Century Science" (1959) and was the editor of "Quantification: A History of the Meaning of Measurement in the Natural and Social Sciences" (1961).

From 1958 to 1964, he was editor of ISIS: An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences.

He is survived by his daughters Susan, of Seattle, and Sara, of San Francisco, and his sons Alan, of Seattle, and Aaron, of New York City.

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