Richard Norton, Space Rock Writerby Logical Lizard on Jun. 04, 2009, under Meteorite Science, Writers and Writing
The scientific community suffered a great loss last week with the passing of O. Richard Norton. A prolific and brilliant science author, Richard specialized in astronomy and meteorite studies and wrote a number of important books including: Rocks from Space, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Meteorites, The Planetarium and Atmospherium: An Indoor Universe, and The Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites. Richard was a former director of the Flandrau Planetarium here in Tucson, served for many years on the editorial board of Meteorite magazine, and was a regular visitor to the annual Tucson gem shows. The gem show will never quite be the same for me, as I’ll always be expecting to find Richard exclaiming about the beauty of some type of rare meteorite he’d found in one of the show rooms.
Richard was a friend and colleague and a great personal inspiration to me in my own writing. In fact, he edited my second-ever published science article, many years ago. He was one of those rare science writers who had the ability to share his enthusiasm and vast store of knowledge in a way that made it accessible and engaging to the non-academic reader.
In recent years he lived in Bend, Oregon where he worked closely with his wife Dorothy — a popular and accomplished scientific illustrator.