Buckminster Fuller

When I was in college, R Buckminster Fuller had a cult-like following of young people who reveled in his alternative way of thinking - comprehensively - because it was obvious to them that was the cause of many of societies failures. I heard him speak on three occasions and hosted his visited to Lewis & Clark College toward the end of his life.

R. Buckminster Fuller

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R. Buckminster Fuller USPS Stamp, 2004

Born: July 12, 1895 in Milton, Mass. Information below taken from NY Times and AP obituary articles, and from an interview with him by a Spokesman Review reporter.

  • Profession: Comprehensive Thinker
  • Graduated from High School from Milton Academy.
  • Expelled from Harvard University during freshman year in 1914 or 1915. (for irresponsibility and lack of interest.)
  • Awards: Recipient of 44 honorary doctoral degrees and dozens of other honors. Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Achievements: lectured at 550 universities throughout the world. (Including Lewis & Clark College, where I hosted him, Linfield College, where I heard him the 2nd time, and Washington State University where I first heard him).
  • Travelled around the world 49 times in the course of work. In 1962 he returned to Harvard as the Charles Elliot Norton Professor of Poetry.
  • Author of more than 17 books and scores of articles.
  • Held 26 patents.
  • Inventions: Geodesic Dome (conceived in 1949), synergetic geometry, dymaxion map, dymaxion car (my favorite, 1927-1934, revised in 1943), dymaxion house. He coined the term Spaceship Earth.
  • He designed at least one airport.
  • At on point in the 1920's he comtemplated throwing his life away, but then in a flash he decided to commit his life to the betterment of humanity.
  • Coined the phrase: Doing more with Less.
  • Died: July 1, 1983
  • Epitat: TRIMTAB (referring to his belief that one person couldn't really steer the whole of spacehip earth, but that he might adjust the couse slightly, or to stabilize it amid turbulence.)
  • NY Times obituary, published July 3, 1983.

    PBS did an excellent TV documentary, American Masters: Buckminster Fuller: Thinking Out Loud , which you may be able to find in your library or video store. It is available for $40 from the link below.

    Links to Fuller web pages