Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
ALFRED H. LAGRONE
Alfred H. LaGrone, professor emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering, died on February 20, 1998. Al was born on September 23, 1912, in DeBerry, Texas, to William Taylor and Lena Westmoreland LaGrone. He grew up in East Texas in Elysian Fields, and graduated from high school in Shiloah, Louisiana.
He joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1932 and was a charter member of the 79th Pursuit Squadron, Barksdale Field, Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1934, after his tour of army duty, he entered The University of Texas at Austin. He worked full time while attending UT from 1934 to 1938. He was an honor student and a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honor society; Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society; and Sigma Xi, a national honor society. Al graduated from the University in 1938 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.
From 1938 to 1942 Al worked in San Antonio for the San Antonio Public Service Company. In 1942, at the start of World War II, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the navy and ordered to active duty. His first assignment was to the radar school run by the navy at UT Austin. After finishing radar school at Texas, he was sent to Harvard University for further training and then on to advanced radar school at MIT. Upon completion of the Advanced Radar School at MIT, he was assigned by the navy as an instructor of the radar school.
In 1943, Al was assigned to the USS Gillette as a radar officer for a division of destroyer escorts stationed in Bermuda. Later, when the Gillette returned to the United States to be refitted for duty in the Pacific, Al was reassigned by the navy back to the Advanced Radar School at MIT, where he served for the duration of the war.
At the conclusion of World War II, Al was named chief field engineer for the Electrical Engineering Research Lab at UT Austin. He attended graduate school part-time during the ensuing years and earned a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1948 and a PhD in 1954. That same year he became an associate professor of electrical engineering at the University. He continued his research while teaching at the University and in 1959 was awarded the Scott Helt Memorial Award by the Institute of Radio Engineers for the most outstanding research paper of the year.
Al was a member of the USA National Committee of the Universal Radio Scientific Institute (URSI). Later, he served as chairman of USA Commission II and was named a delegate to the URSI General Assembly held in Munich, Germany, in 1966. In subsequent years he was a delegate to URSI General Assembly meetings in Ottowa, Warsaw, Helsinki, and Washington, D.C. He was also a delegate to radio-related conferences in Japan, Australia, and Kenya.
Al was the author or coauthor of over 100 technical papers. He served a number of years as an associate editor of the Journal of Radio Science. He was listed in both Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.
Al was a major force in shaping the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Many young lives were transformed for the better because of Al, and we all benefit from his contributions to technology. He will be missed, and always remembered.
Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Francis X. Bostick (chair), Harold W. Smith, and Baxter F. Womack.