Obituary: Fred Kavli, Founder And Chairman Of The Kavli Foundation (1927-2013)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fred Kavli, founder and chairman of The Kavli Foundation, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 21, in his home in Santa Barbara at the age of 86.

A philanthropist, physicist, entrepreneur, business leader and innovator, Fred Kavli established The Kavli Foundation to advance science for the benefit of humanity. Based in Southern California, the Foundation today includes an international community of basic research institutes in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics. Located on three continents, the institutes are home to some of the most renowned researchers in their fields. The Foundation has also established and supported an international program of conferences, symposia, endowed professorships, and other activities. This includes being a founding partner of the biennial Kavli Prizes, which recognize scientists for their seminal advances in three research areas: astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

Kavli began the Foundation in 2000 after divesting his interests in the Kavlico Corporation – a company that he founded and operated as the CEO and sole shareholder, and which became one of the world’s largest suppliers of sensors for aeronautic, automotive and industrial applications.

“This is a painful loss for the Foundation and for all of science,” said Rockell N. Hankin, Vice Chairman of the Foundation. “We can only take comfort in his extraordinary legacy, which will continue advancing critically important research that benefits all of humanity, and supports scientific work around the globe.”

Said Robert W. Conn, President of the Foundation, “We will forever be grateful to Fred Kavli – someone who, with the Foundation, invested his heart and soul into ensuring that science will make this a better world for future generations. And we will carry forward this mission with the same commitment and dedication that he gave to science and his life.”

See The Kavli Foundation website for the complete obituary and additional information about Fred Kavli:

Professor Jacqueline Hewitt, Director of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, recalls…

“At one of Fred Kavli’s visits to MIT he was with us at our HETE satellite ground station when a gamma ray burst was detected. 
It was a very exciting moment and what a coincidence that Fred Kavli was here for this cosmic event!  He seemed to have great
fun with it as did we.”