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In memoriam: 1982 IEEE President Robert Larson

1982 IEEE President Robert Larson passed away on 10 March 2022 at the age of 83.

A long-time member, Dr. Larson joined IEEE’s predecessor, the Institute of Radio Engineers, in 1956 as a student member. He served IEEE as a volunteer for more than six decades, including on numerous committees, such as the audit, finance, long-range planning, and nominations and appointments, and as President of the IEEE Control Systems Society in 1975-1976. An IEEE Fellow, he served on the IEEE Board of Directors several times, as Division 1 Director in 1978 and 1979, Vice President of Technical Activities in 1980 and 1981, and as President in 1982.

Dr. Larson and his wife generously supported IEEE initiatives via the IEEE Foundation, including the IEEE History Center and IEEE Smart Village. He was particularly fond of the IEEE Smart Village program and the impact that it delivers to energy impoverished communities around the globe. His family has requested that memorial donations be made to the IEEE Smart Village program.

In February 2009, as part of the IEEE History Center’s Oral History Collection, Dr. Larson recorded his oral history. The interview can be found at https://ethw.org/Oral-History:Robert_E._Larson.

Dr. Larson received his Bachelor of Science Degree from M.I.T. in 1960, and his Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Stanford University in 1961 and 1964, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering.

He worked for IBM, Hughes Aircraft and SRI International. Bob was co-founder, President and CEO of Systems Control, prior to its sale to British Petroleum. He was a General Partner of the Woodside Fund, a venture capital firm based in the Silicon Valley of Northern California, since 1983.

Dr. Larson was a Consulting Professor at Stanford University from 1973 to 1988. Larson has written six textbooks and 140 technical papers on software and computer systems. See https://ethw.org/Robert_Larson.

K. J. Ray Liu, 2022 IEEE President and CEO said “I know I speak for the global IEEE community in extending our sincere sympathies to his family and fellow colleagues.” A memorial service will be held in California in August. Additional information can be found here https://spanglermortuary.com/.

Past President Larson will be honored with a resolution at the June IEEE Board of Directors meeting.


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