Richard Askey, the retired John Bascom Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, died Oct. 9, 2019, at age 86.
In 1955 Askey graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with an A.B. degree in mathematics; he earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton in 1961. He joined Wisconsin’s mathematics department as an assistant professor in 1963 and retired in 2003.
His life’s work was mathematics and math education. He was a foremost authority on special functions. In 1969-70 he was a Guggenheim Fellow in Holland. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2009, the American Mathematical Society in 2012, and an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Mathematical Society.
Askey traveled the world giving talks on mathematics. He generously helped many mathematicians around the world with their careers. He was regarded as a man of integrity who helped others and shared knowledge.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Elizabeth; two children; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.