Death Ends Work Of Satellite Star Donald Williams—Hughes News February 25, 1966

Donald D. “Don” Williams, 34 one of the nation’s outstanding young men of 1965, took his own life shortly before noon last Monday.

Mr. Williams, co-inventor of the Syncom communications satellite, was a chief scientist in Space System Division. A month ago he was honored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce of the United States with the “outstanding young man” title. It was for developing the orbit control and attitude determination of the Syncom 2, Syncom 3, and Early Bird communications satellites.

Vice President and General Manager L. A. Hyland, in paying tribute to Mr. Williams said: “The important contributions of Don Williams to the synchronous communication satellite are already of historical record. Millions of people in the far corners of the world have and will continue to benefit from his scientific genius that helped give birth to practical space communications.

“Let us remember in our shock at his loss he pioneered the way and that his brilliant work contributed in major degree to the nation’s leadership in space.”

Mr. Williams had been with Hughes Aircraft Company continuously since March 2, 1959 with prior service between 1952 and 1958.

 

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About Jack Fisher

Jack was a systems engineer at Hughes from 1961 to 1992. He contributed to various programs including Surveyor, Pioneer Venus, Galileo, Intelsat VI and innumerable proposals. He was the manager of of the Spacecraft Systems Engineering Lab until his retirement. Upon retirement Jack taught systems engineering at a number of national and international venues.

1 thought on “Death Ends Work Of Satellite Star Donald Williams—Hughes News February 25, 1966

  1. DON CAME INTO MY OFFICE AND SAID GOOD BYE I THOUGHT IT STRANGE AND STARTED SAYING WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING. LATER WE LEARN OF HIS DEATH. HE CAME IN TO GIVE SOME OF HIS MEN ALSO A GOOD BYE.

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