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Percival Lowell
Birth: Mar. 13, 1855
Boston
Suffolk County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Nov. 12, 1916
Flagstaff
Coconino County
Arizona, USA

Author, Astronomer, and Mathematician. He is best remembered for his extensive study of the planet Mars and his theory of a hypothetical planet beyond the planet Neptune that was eventually discovered by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 and named Pluto. Born into a wealthy family, he graduated in 1872 from the Noble and Green School at Dedham, Massachusetts and Harvard University at Cambridge, Massachusetts four years later with a degree in mathematics. He ran a cotton mill for the next six years before serving as a foreign secretary and counsellor to a Korean mission to the US and travelled extensively in the Far East, returning permanently to the US in 1893. While travelling in the Far East, he authored the books "Chosön: The Land of the Morning Calm" (1886), "The Soul of the Far East" (1888), "Noto: An Unexplored Corner of Japan" (1891), and "Occult Japan" (or "Way of the Gods") (1894). He then dedicated his life to astronomy and established the Lowell Observatory at Flagstaff, Arizona where he primarily studied the planet Mars and developed his theories on the planet's "canals" that were created by a dying ancient civilization. He published his views in the books "Mars" (1895), "Mars and Its Canals" (1906), and "Mars As the Abode of Life" (1908). (His "canal" theories were eventually disproven by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Mariner space missions to Mars that took place in the 1960s.) In 1906 he started a search program for "Planet X" which by his calculations lay beyond the orbit of Neptune. In 1915 his observatory photographed what would eventually turn out to be the new planet Pluto. His theory of life on Mars would greatly influence science fiction novels, including H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" (1898), Edgar Rice Burroughs' "The Gods of Mars" (1918), Robert A. Heinlein's "Red Planet" (1949), and Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" (1950). He died from a stroke at the age of 61. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Constance Savage Keith Lowell (1863 - 1954)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Lowell Observatory
Flagstaff
Coconino County
Arizona, USA
Plot: mausoleum
GPS (lat/lon): 35.20264, -111.66409
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: May 21, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 9455
Percival Lowell
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Percival Lowell
Added by: C. Fahey
 
Percival Lowell
Added by: Alan Brownsten
 
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Thank you for your contributions to astronomy. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Aug. 5, 2015
You rock cousin -
- The Descendants of Mary Lawrence Hoyt
 Added: Jun. 17, 2015
Happy Birthday....................
- a sincere fan
 Added: Mar. 13, 2015
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