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Percival Lowell


Centurion, 1898–1916

Born 13 March 1855 in Boston, Massachusetts

Died 12 November 1916 in Flagstaff, Arizona

Buried Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona

Proposed by John K. Rees and James A. Roosevelt

Elected 5 March 1898 at age forty-two

Archivist’s Note: Brother of Abbott Lawrence Lowell

Seconder of:

Century Memorial

Percival Lowell, brother to President [Abbott Lawrence] Lowell of Harvard, was a brilliant personality, a great traveler, an intimate lover of the East, and an astronomer of constructive imagination and achievement. Soon after his graduation from Harvard in 1876, he entered upon his career of travel and observation, in Japan, China, and Korea. He gained a remarkable knowledge of those lands, and won the confidence of the people among whom he moved. The Korean King appointed him the counselor to the first Korean mission sent to the United States. Noti, Choson, Occult Japan, were among the fruits of his stay in the Far East. In his own country, he worked for many years at the Harvard Observatory, even after he had established the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. His name has been most widely known from his labors to demonstrate the presence of organic and intelligent life upon the planet Mars. It is well for the country occasionally to have a man gifted with scientific energy and imagination, and blessed with the means to carry on his work in fruitful willfulness.

Henry Osborn Taylor
1917 Century Association Yearbook