Charles H. Henry

In Memoriam: Charles H. Henry, 1937-2016

September 16, 2016

Charles H. Henry, recipient of the OSA Charles Hard Townes Award, passed away on 16 September 2016 at the age of 79. Henry was well known for his work in semiconductor-based science and optical technologies, having spent the majority of his career at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ (1965-1997).  He served as the head of Bell Labs solid state electronics department from 1970-1975.  Henry held 28 patents, including one awarded in 1976 for the quantum well laser.   

Henry was born in Chicago, Illinois, US, and received his M.S. degree in physics in 1959 from University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in physics in 1965 from the University of Illinois. He published more than 130 technical papers during his career and was honored with the Morton Award (1999, IEEE), the Charles Hard Townes Award (1999, OSA), and the Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics (2001, AIP). Henry received the OSA Charles Hard Townes Award for fundamental contributions to the understanding of the optical properties of quantum wells, semiconductor lasers, and advance photonic technologies.  He was inducted into the Engineering Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois in 2012.  He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was a member of Sigma Xi.

Henry retired from Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories in 1997 as a Distinguished Member of Technical staff and used his retirement to study theoretical physics and amateur astronomy.   Henry is survived by his wife, 3 children, sister, and 4 grandchildren.  The scientific community mourns the loss of Charles Henry.

OSA Awards Won

Charles Hard Townes Medal