Robert R. Everett

Robert R. Everett

Robert R. Everett was a pioneer in the field of electronic computing, and was a former president and CEO of MITRE Corporation. He was born 26 June 1921 in Yonkers, New York to Chester and Ruth Everett. He graduated from Duke University in 1942, and received a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1943. He joined MIT's Servomechanisms Laboratory, where he did crucial war-related work, including the development of hydraulic servomechanisms for stabilized shipboard radar antennas.

In 1945, Everett and Dr. Jay Forrester of MIT began work on Whirlwind I, the first digital computer at MIT, and the fastest of its time. The Whirlwind Project led to the founding of MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and the development of the U.S. Air Force's Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense system. In 1947, Everett joined Lincoln Labs, and in 1956 became head of its Division VI, responsible for SAGE system design and testing.

When MITRE was established in 1958, Everett became its Technical Director. In 1969, he was named MITRE's president, remaining in that position until his retirement in 1986, after which he continued to serve as Director and Honorary Director on MITRE's board until his death on 15 August, 2018 at the age of 97 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Everett was named a Fellow of IEEE in 1969 "For contributions to the development of digital computers and of computer-based real-time control systems for continental air defense." He received numerous awards for his scientific work, including the National Medal of Technology in 1990, and the Eugene G. Fubini Award in 2008 for contributions to the Department of Defense. Throughout his career, he served on numerous government and advisory committees, including a term as chairman of the Defense Science Board from 1988 to 1989.

In addition to his technical contributions, Everett pursued interests in many areas, particularly history.