National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day January 10 – Bradford Washburn

0 Comments 10 January 2012


Mr. Washburn holds a special place in the heart of the staff here at the NOR. Many times a quick trip over to the Boston Museum of Science has helped us shake off a case of the Mondays.

By Michael J. Bailey, Globe staff and Andrew Ryan, Globe Correspondent

Bradford Washburn, the founder of the modern Boston Museum of Science who transformed a modest collection into renowned institution, died last night at the age of 96.

The cause was heart failure, said his wife, Barbara Washburn. He died in Brookhaven retirement home in Lexington.

“He was a very kind and loving person and just had a desire for doing good things and adventure,” Barbara Washburn said. “And he loved to share that goodness and that spirit of adventure.”

Mr. Washburn ran the Museum of Science for 41 years, moving the small collection from its original Berkeley Street building to its present site on the Charles River Basin, now known as Science Park. An avid mountaineer and cartographer, Mr. Washburn made eight first-recorded ascents of North American peaks and authored two-dozen maps, several of the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, and Mount McKinley. As a photographer, he pioneered the high-resolution, large-format aerial picture. Continue

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