The Optical Society Mourns the Loss of Anthony E. Siegman


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

The Optical Society Mourns the Loss of Anthony E. Siegman

Anthony Siegman

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13—The Optical Society (OSA) today expresses its condolences at the loss of Anthony "Tony" Siegman, an OSA Fellow Emeritus and 1999 OSA president.  Siegman, who was well-known and liked in the laser science community died Oct. 7 at his home in Stanford, Calif.  He was 79.

"We've lost a good friend, mentor, collaborator and icon within our community" said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. "His great passion for the field was evident in his talks, publications, and interactions with all of us, and especially with his students.  His ability to communicate very complicated concepts in a clear, concise and humorous way was remarkable.  On behalf of the OSA Board, members, and staff, I express our deepest condolences to Tony's family and colleagues."

An OSA member for 50 years, Siegman served on the Board of Directors as OSA president in 1999 and was an active participant on many OSA committees, including serving on the Presidential Advisory Committee since 2000. He was instrumental in the planning and execution of LaserFest, the scientific community's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser in 2010, serving on the technical advisory committee and as co-host of a LaserFest kick-off gala in Washington, D.C. He was also an active supporter of the OSA Foundation—the charitable organization established by OSA that is dedicated to carrying out philanthropic programs that further the study of science.  Siegman also served on OSAF's Board of Directors from 2003-2008.

Siegman was born in 1931 in Detroit. He received a Bachelor's degree summa cum laude in engineering science from Harvard College in 1952, a Master's in applied physics from the University of California Los Angeles in 1954 and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1957.

Siegman was appointed to the Stanford Electrical Engineering faculty in 1956, where he served as a professor for more than four decades. During his career Siegman made many significant research contributions in microwave and quantum electronics, laser physics and devices, laser applications, and optics, including publishing approximately 250 scientific articles. He wrote several texts on masers and lasers including the widely-used reference and textbook LASERS (University Science Books, 1986). In addition to being named an OSA Fellow in 1968, Siegman's work earned him numerous awards from the optics community including the R.W. Wood Prize in 1980, the Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Endowment in 1987, and the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal in 2009.

Donations may be made to the OSA Foundation in memory of Tony Siegman. Visit

About OSA

Uniting more than 130,000 professionals from 175 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit