Edwin Kessler, first NSSL director, 1928–2017

Dr. Edwin Kessler
Dr. Edwin Kessler

We are sad to announce the National Severe Storms Laboratory’s first director, Dr. Edwin Kessler, passed away Tuesday, February 21.

Originally from the northeast, Dr. Kessler received his Ph.D. in Meteorology in 1957 from MIT after serving in the Army. He also served as a Captain in the Air Force Reserve and was Chief of the Synoptic Meteorology Section at the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories. He also worked at the Travelers Research Center in Connecticut.

In 1964, Dr. Kessler became the first Director of the NSSL and was an Affiliate Professor of Meteorology at The University of Oklahoma until his retirement in 1987.

Under his leadership, NSSL scientists conducted Doppler radar research that led to the NEXRAD, deployed in the 1990s and still in use today.

Dr. Kessler authored more than 250 publications and reports. He served on numerous advisory panels, including NASA and NCAR, and consulted for several countries on weather-related topics, including Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

Our Lab owes a great deal to his leadership, scientific talent, and good judgment.

Kimpel, Kessler, Koch at NSSL 50th
At the NSSL 50th Anniversary celebration. L-R: Dr. James Kimpel, Dr. Edwin Kessler, Dr. Steven Koch

Related:
Norman Transcript: Norman mourns ‘Father of Doppler radar’
Norman Transcript: Obituary
Norman Transcript: 50 years with an eye on the storm
NSSL History