Bachelor of Arts, Rice Institute, 1925, Master of Arts, 1927, Doctor of Philosophy, 1931, Hohenthal scholar, 1923-1926, fellow in physics, 1926-1929. Honorary Doctor of Science, Washington and Lee University, 1949, U. Denver, 1953, Utrecht, 1957, Lehigh University, 1957, U. Rhode Island, 1960, U. Durham, 1963, U. Delaware, 1968, Long Island University, 1969, U. Nacional de Colombia, 1969, Centre College Kentucky, 1971. Doctor of Laws, Dalhousie University, 1960.
Ewing has been described as a pioneering geophysicist who worked on the research of seismic reflection and refraction in ocean basins, ocean bottom photography, submarine sound transmission (including the SOFAR channel), deep sea coring of the ocean bottom, theory and observation of earthquake surface waves, fluidity of the Earth"s core, generation and propagation of microseisms, submarine explosion seismology, marine gravity surveys, bathymetry and sedimentation, natural radioactivity of ocean waters and sediments, study of abyssal plains and submarine canyons. He moved to Columbia University, becoming a professor of geology in 1947. In 1959 he was named the Higgins Professor of Geology at Columbia.
The former LDEO research vessel R/V Maurice Ewing was named in his honor.
In 1972 he joined the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and was named the head of the Division of Earth and Planetary Sciences of the Marine Biomedical Institute. During his career he published over 340 scientific papers.
He served as president of the American Geophysical Union and the Seismological Society of America. He led over 50 oceanic expeditions.
He made many contributions to oceanography, including the discovery of the SOFAR Channel, the invention of the sofar bomb, and did much work fundamental on plate tectonics.
He was the chief scientist on board the Glomar Challenger. He originated Project Mogul, an early program to detect Soviet nuclear weapons tests.
Member United States committee International Geophysical Year, 1955-1959. Fellow Indian Geophysical Union (honorary). Member Academia Nacional de Ciences Exactas Fisicas y Naturales (correspondent), American Association for the Advancement of Science, Geological Society London (foreign.
Member), American Association Petroleum Geologists (honorary), American Geophysical Union (William Bowie medal 1957, Walter Bucher medal 1974, vice president 1953-1956, president 1956-1959), Society Exploration Geophysicists (honorary), Seismological Society American (vice president 1952-1954, president 1955-1957), Royal Netherlands Academy (foreign), Royal Society New Zealand (honorary), National Academy Science, Geological Society American (A.L. Day medal 1949, Penrose medal 1974), American Academy Arts and Sciences, American, Houston philosophical societies, Royal Society London, Royal Astronomical Society (associate), Canadian Society Petroleum Geologists (honorary).
Clubs: Century Association, Explorers (New York City).
Married Avarilla Hildenbrand, October 31, 1928 (divorced 1941). Married second, Margaret Sloan Kidder, February 19, 1944 (divorced 1965). Married 3d, Harriett Greene Bassett, May 6, 1965.
Children: Jerome, Hope, Peter, Margaret.