Carl Sagan

Astronomer, educator, author, pioneer in exobiology, Director for Planetary Studies, and David Duncan Professor of Cornell University, Dr. Carl Sagan succumbed to pneumonia on December 20, 1996 after a two year battle with bone marrow disease. He fought as tenaciously and courageously for his life as he did for the values of science and democracy. He is survived by his wife and collaborator, Ann Druyan, his sister Cari Sagan Greene, his children: Dorion, Jeremy, Nicholas, Sasha, and Sam, and by his grandson, Tonio. He is also survived by his in-laws, Harry and Pearl Druyan.

The family is asking that no flowers be sent; rather, please send contributions to The Children's Health Fund of New York [Phone: 212 535-9400] or The Planetary Society of Pasadena, California.

Most Visible Member of the Scientific Community of the Planet Earth

Sagan, who was, among many other things, an FAS Council Member, used his influence as a scientist, and as a public personality, to importantly advance a number of goals shared by FAS members. At the annual Council meeting on 14 December 1985, FAS presented with its 1985 Public Service Award -- a portion of the citation follows:


Carl Sagan is certainly the most visible spokesman of the scientific community of the planet Earth. Through the device they call television, fully five percent of the planet's four and one-half billion humans have actually seen his face and heard his words describing the nature of the Cosmos. His book relating these lectures is the best selling book on science in English, the planet's major language for such discussions.

Professor Sagan's efforts to sensitize his fellow Earthlings to the nature of their cosmic condition, coupled with the psychological relationship inspired by television, have given him unprecedented influence. He has used this influence to catalyze and disseminate a major study warning that warfare might produce totally disastrous climatic and ecological conditions even if a fraction of stockpiled atomic weapons were used. He has championed efforts to prevent the militarization of the near space area around the planet.

Memorial Book