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Robert I. Wolff, son of Barnet and Elka Nielonsky Wolff, was born on 27 Apr 1903, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, later moving to Queens and then to the Bronx. Wolff received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York (CCNY), where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 1924. He attended graduate school at Yale University, obtaining his Ph.D. in astronomy in 1935 with the thesis “First-Order Perturbations of the Minor Planet (3) Juno by Jupiter.”
Wolff returned to his alma mater CCNY as a physics and astronomy instructor and also served as faculty advisor to the Astronomy Club. He wrote book reviews for Science and Popular Astronomy and a 1946 piece, “Students, Double Stars, and the Future,” for Sky and Telescope . In 1931, Beacon Press published his 90-page pamphlet that accompanied his Science Survey course at CCNY; a reviewer in Popular Astronomy judged that “a reading of this work will give one a good introduction into classical as well as modern astronomy.” Robert Wolff died in December 1995 in the Bronx.
Obituary written by: Alan Hirshfeld (University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth)