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George Foster Smith Edit Profile

aerospace company executive

George Foster Smith was American aerospace company executive. Achievements include 6 patents in field; directed leading industrial research in electronics, lasers, and electro-optics; conducted first laser range finder experiments. Standard Oil fellow, 1949-1950; recipient Distinguished Alumnus award California Institute of Technology, 1991.


Smith, George Foster was born on May 9, 1922 in Franklin, Indiana, United States. Son of John Earl and Ruth (Foster) Smith.


Bachelor of Science in Physics, California Institute Technology, 1944;Master of Science, California Institute Technology, 1948;Doctor of Philosophy magna cum laude (Standard Oil fellow 1949-1950), California Institute Technology, 1952.


Founding staff member, Engineering Research Associates, St. Paul, 1946-1948;teaching fellow, resident associate, California Institute Technology, 1948-1952;member of staff, Hughes Research laboratories, Malibu, California, 1952-1987;associate director, Hughes Research laboratories, 1962-1969;director, Hughes Research laboratories, 1969-1987;vice president, Hughes Aircraft Company, 1965-1981;senior vice president, Hughes Aircraft Company, 1981-1987;member policy board, Hughes Aircraft Company, 1966-1987. Adjunct associate professor electrical engineering University of Southern California, 1959-1962. Consultant Army Science Advisory Panel, 1975-1978.


  • Achievements include 6 patents in field. Directed leading industrial research in electronics, lasers, and electro-optics. Conducted first laser range finder experiments.


  • Other Work

    • Contributor numerous articles to professional journals.


Advisory local Explorer post Boy Scouts American, 1965-1970. Board of managers Westchester Young Men’s Christian Association, since 1974, chairman, 1979-1981. Chairman trustees Pacific Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles, 1959-1962.

Served to Lieutenant (junior grade) United States Naval Reserve, 1944-1946. Fellow Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (president Sorenson fellows 1972-1973, Frederick Philips award 1988), American Physical Society. Member American Association for the Advancement of Science, Caltech Associations (board directors since 1990, president 1993-1994), Sierra Club, Sigma Xi (chapter president 1957-1958), Tau Beta Pi.


Son of; married Jean Arthur Farnsworth, June 3, 1950. Children: David Foster, Craig Farnsworth, Sharon Windsor.

John Earl Son

Ruth (Foster) Son

Jean Arthur Farnsworth

David Foster Smith

Craig Farnsworth Smith

Sharon Windsor Smith