The NASA Astrobiology Program mourns the death of Dick Holland, treasured colleague and forefather of astrobiology.
Dick Holland died May 21, 2012 in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, just short of his 85th birthday. He was born in Mannheim, Germany and spent his early years there before coming to the U.S. in 1940. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry (with high honors) from Princeton University in 1946 at the age of 19, served in the U.S. Army, then entered graduate school at Columbia University in 1947, receiving is master's degree in 1948 and Ph.D. in 1952, both in geology. At Columbia he worked with Laurence Kulp as part of a remarkable group of graduate students who went on to become leading figures in geochemistry. He served on the faculty of Princeton University from 1950 to 1972, rising from the rank of instructor to full professor. In 1972 he moved to Harvard, where he later became the Harry C. Dudley Professor of Economic Geology.
In 2006 he 'retired' from Harvard and became a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he remained active in research and writing until his death. During his career he held visiting appointments at the Universities of Oxford, Durham, Hawaii, Heidelberg, Penn State, Imperial College, London, and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and his numerous awards included the V.M. Goldschmidt Award of the Geochemical Society, the Penrose Gold Medal of the Society of Economic Geologists, and the Leopold von Busch Medal of the Deutsche Geologische Gesellschaft.