School 29

John Kuo

April 1, 1922 ~ April 29, 2022 (age 100)


John T Kuo, beloved husband, father, grandfather &great grandfather, passed away peacefully at home on April 29, 2022. He was 100 years old.


Born in China in 1922, he came to study in the United States in 1949 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1967. He received his BS degree in geology, physics & mathematics from the Univ. of Redlands in 1952 & an honorary Sc.D. from the same university in 1978. He received a MS degree in Geophysics from the California Institute of Technology in 1954 & a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Stanford University in 1958.

Among his teaching positions, he was associate professor 1964-67, professor 1967-83, Vinton professor 1983-85, Ewing & Worzel professor emeritus 1992-2022, all at Columbia University in NYC. He was director of the Aldridge Laboratory of Applied Geophysics from 1964-1992 & oversaw the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory’s Underground Geophysical Observatory in N.J. 1967-77. In 1980, he initiated a petroleum-industry consortium, Project MIDAS, working with his colleagues & students on the problems of migration, inversion, diffraction & scattering in seismic exploration for a decade. He was Danforth fellow 1952-58, Danforth teaching fellow 1958~ , NSF senior postdoctoral fellow 1970-71. He has been involved in numerous research projects with NSF, NASA, USGS & many more involving various aspects of geophysics & physical oceanography for almost 40 years & contributed over 100 articles to professional journals.

He was the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Award for distinguished U.S. Senior Scientist from the Federal Republic of Germany in 1986. From1970-71, Kuo was a distinguished senior scholar at the University of Cambridge, England; a visiting scholar at the University of Texas in Austin from 1978-79 as well as a visiting professor 1978; adjunct professor 1992-1994 at Cornell University; and visiting professor at the Technical University of Clausthal in the Federal Republic of Germany from 1986-87. He is an honorary professor of Chengdu University of Technology 1986~, Academia Sinica, 1979~ and China Geosciences 1992~ of the People’s Republic of China. He serves as technical advisor to the 20th District Congressman 1983~. He was awarded the Honorary Knight for Life of Round Table International in 1993 & the Alumni Career Achievement Award from the Univ. of Redlands in 2002.

Kuo served as President of the Permanent Commission for Earth Tides, IUGG, 1979-1987. He served as an expert for the World Bank in 1993. He is a fellow of RAS, GSA & IAG/IUGG, a life member of AGU &members of SEG & SSA. He is a foreign correspondent of China Geophysical Society 1994~. He is continuing his research on the 1st US/China joint research project on the variations of micro-gravity related to the occurrence of earthquakes in the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan-Zhangjiakou region. Through a multi-university project, Kuo was involved in the investigation of the geological evolution of the Himalayas & the Tibetan Plateau 1990-1997. From 1997~, Kuo has continued his far reaching exploration including a monumental paper on global addition to caring & nurturing his family after the death of his most beloved wife, Marilyn in Nov. 2019 &  his son, David in April 2013. He is survived by his 2 daughters, their spouses,  his oldest Sister, nieces & nephews, great nieces & nephews, great grandnieces & grandnephews, 2 daughters, spouses, 5 grandchildren & a great grandson.

"I have ventured on a dangerous journey and I already behold the foothills of new lands.  Those who have the courage to continue the search will surely set foot on them". 


Immanuel Kant (1755)

Natural History and Theory of Heavens

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Graveside Service
May 3, 2022

12:45 PM
Rockland Cemetery, NY, Sparkill

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