Bachelor of Arts, Cornell Univercity, 1947; Master of Arts, Harvard University, 1948; Doctor of Philosophy, University Chicago, 1951.
He is credited with developing the theory of continuous selections. The Michael selection theorem is named for him, which he proved in (Michael 1956). Michael is also known in topology for the Michael line, a paracompact space whose product with the topological space of the irrational numbers is not normal.
He wrote over 100 papers, mostly in the area of general topology.
Michael was born in Zürich, Switzerland, August 26, 1925, to German Jewish parents, Jacob and Erna Michael. He lived in Berlin, Germany, until 1932.
Michael attended Horace Mann High School, graduating at age 15. His undergraduate career at Cornell University was interrupted when he enlisted in the United States Navy (1944-1946), where he served aboard the United States Ship Kwajalein.
He returned to Cornell, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1947.
He earned his Master of Arts from Harvard University in 1948, and Doctor of Philosophy from The University of Chicago in 1951, writing his dissertation titled Locally Multiplicatively-Convex Topological Algebras under the supervision of Irving Segal. He was also a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study (1951-1952, 1956-1957, 1960-1961, 1968-1969), Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich (1973-1974) and University of Stuttgart (1978-1979). In 2012 he became an inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
Michael died in 2013 at the age of 87.
Anticipating the burgeoning threat of Nazism, his family moved to The Hague, Netherlands, and then to New York in 1939.
American Mathematical Society]
Michael was a member of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Washington (assistant professor 1952-1956, associate professor 1956-1960, professor 1960) for over 40 years, from 1952 until his retirement in 1993.
Married Colette Verger Davis, 1956 (divorced 1966). Children: Alan, David, Gerard. Married Erika Goodman Joseph, December 4, 1966.
Children: Hillary, Joshua.