Born: Clyde William Tombaugh was born on February 4, 1906 in Streator, Illinois. Tombaugh was the eldest of six children in a poor family. His father, Muron Tombaugh was a farmer and his mother was Adella Chritton Tombaugh.
Education: Though Tombaugh was an excellent student, when he graduated from Burdett High School in 1925, there was little chance of continuing his education. The families wheat crop had been destroyed by hail and their was no money to send Tombaugh off to school. Eventually, in the fall of 1932, Tombaugh was able to start school after receiving a scholarship from the University of Kansas. Tombaugh earned a bachelor of science in astronomy in 1936 and completed his masters of science in astronomy in 1939.
• 1929 to 1945: Junior astronomer at Lowell Observatory, conducting a photographic survey.
• 1943 to 1945: During World War II, teacher of physics at Northern Arizona University, while also teaching navigation at the school for the U.S. Navy.
• 1946 to 1955: A civilian astronomer and optical physicist for the U.S. Army at White Sands Missile Range. Tombaugh developed methods of optically tracking rockets in flight and improving their performance.
• 1955 to 1973: Astronomy professor at New Mexico State University working on a federally funded search for near-earth satellites.
Publications: As a professional astronomer and discover of Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh published a number of papers, reports and articles. In 1980, Tombaugh published Out of the Darkness: The Planet Pluto co-authored with Patrick Moore. The book was an autobiographical look at his most well known scientific accomplishment.
Death: January 17, 1997, Tombaugh passed away at his home in Las Cruces, New Mexico.