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Carl Sagan

Carl Edward Sagan was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 9, 1934. Sagan attended the University of Chicago. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Physics in 1955, a Master's in Physics in 1956, and a Ph. D in Astronomy and Astrophysics in 1960.

Sagan taught astronomy at Harvard, but Harvard did not offer him tenure, so Segan accepted an offer from Cornell University in Ithaca to create a laboratory for planetary studies. At Cronell, Segan carried the title of "David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences" and was the Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies.

Sagan helped design the missions for the Mariner, Viking, and Voyager space probes. Many of those currently working at JPL and NASA on current and future missions, were students or contemporaries of Sagan.

Sagan began publishing at the age of 22. His early works were academic papers and books. But, in the early 1970s, he began writing books for a more general audience. He made many appearances on the "Tonight Show" which made him a celebrity.

His book Cosmos became, at the time, the best-selling science book ever published. The TV series of the same name, which was hosted by Sagan, won an Emmy and a Peabody award. Sagan's novel, Contact was a bestseller and was made into a major motion picture in 1997.

Sagan died on December 20, 1996 of pneumonia after a bone-marrow transplant in April 1995.

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