JOHN A. WHEELER, one of the 20th century’s leading theoretical physicists and a member of the faculty from 1938 to 1976, died April 13 at his home in Hightstown, N.J. He was 96. Interested in the overarching questions in physics throughout his career, Wheeler was a major figure in the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs and later was regarded as the father of modern general relativity. He gave black holes their name and, as a teacher, helped inspire the careers of many prominent theoretical physicists.