On July 19, 2022, Blair died of pancreatic cancer in Madison, Wis.
Born July 7, 1941, in White Plains, N.Y., Blair dedicated his life to the scientific understanding of our universe. The 1957 launch of Sputnik and the ensuing space race ignited his boyhood passion for science and technology. Blair studied engineering physics at Cornell, graduating in 1964. He continued his studies at Princeton and earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics in 1967.
Blair enjoyed decades of teaching and astronomy research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he specialized in UV astronomy, studying the interstellar medium known as “star dust.” He authored or co-authored more than 563 articles and research papers with 32,532 citations.
Blair was recognized as one of the most highly cited space sciences researchers in the world by the Institute for Scientific Information. He contributed to many space astronomy projects including Stratoscope II, OAO-2, Copernicus, IUE, FUSE, Hubble, and the WIYN Observatory. His passion for spectroscopy empowered him to unravel scientific mysteries from more than 30 years of Hubble Space Telescope spectral data.
Predeceased by his wife, Linda, Blair is survived by sons Reid and Keith, grandchildren Wesley and Raleigh, and sister Lynn Conway.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.