Henry Gordon Gale
Henry Gordon Gale was born on September 12, 1874 in Aurora, Illinois. His father, Eli Holbrook Gale, was a physician trained at University of Pennsylvania. Henry Gale's mother, Adelaide Parker Gale, died six weeks after his birth. He was then raised by his maternal grandparents in rural Illinois.
Gale received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1896, and continued on for a graduate degree in physics, earning his Ph.D. a mere three years later. That same year, he joined the Faculty in the Department of Physics. While a student at the university, Gale met Agnes Spofford Cook, daughter of Dr. John W. Cook, educator and first President of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. She attended Wellesley College for a single year before continuing her studies at the University of Chicago. The pair married in 1901, and their daughter, Beatrice, was born in 1904.
Gale obtained full professorship at the University in 1916 and retired in 1940. During his career at the University of Chicago, Gale held a number of administrative offices. He served as Dean of the Colleges from 1908 to 1922, Dean of the Ogden Graduate School of Science from 1922 to 1930, and Dean of the Division of the Physical Sciences from 1931 to 1940. Gale also served as Chair of the Physics Department from 1925 to 1940 and Editor of the Astrophysical Journal from 1912 to 1940. He held the office of president of the Physics Club of Chicago from 1931 until 1940, and was given an honorary lifetime membership in the organization upon his retirement.
In addition to his career as a physicist, Gale served in the Army during World War I in the capacity of lieutenant colonel. After serving in the United States and France, Gale was mentioned for "especially meritorious and conspicuous service" by General Pershing, and received France's decoration of the Legion of Honor. Henry Gordon Gale died on November 16, 1942.
The Henry Gordon Gale Papers may be viewed in the Special Collections Research Center in the University of Chicago Library.