Alumni: William P. Bidelman, 1943
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1943

September 25, 1918 - May 3, 2011


William Pendry Bidelman, was an American astronomer. Born in Los Angeles, and raised in North Dakota, he was noted for classifying the spectra of stars, and considered a pioneer in recognizing and classifying sub-groups of the peculiar stars.

Bidelman's undergraduate degree was from Harvard College, and his Ph.D. in astronomy was from the University of Chicago under advisor William Wilson Morgan. He was a physicist in the Army during World War II. A professional astronomer for over 50 years, Bidelman taught for ~41 years at The University of Chicago, The University of California.

He co-discovered the class of barium stars with Philip Keenan, the phosphorus and the mercury stars, and was the first to describe the hydrogen-deficient carbon stars.