Edward Barlow was born in 1920 and grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from The Cooper Union with a degree in electrical engineering. Following graduation, He went to work at Sperry Gyroscope Company in New York where he pioneered modifications to make shipboard compasses more accurate for the Navy when operating near the north magnetic pole. He then transferred to the Sperry radar group on Long Island where he helped develop various types of radar, including Doppler radar for the war effort.

He was awarded the Sperry Graduate Scholarship for 1945–1946 and attended Columbia University. In 1948, he joined RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, where he rose to be vice president of the Engineering Division specializing in air defense studies for the US Air Force. He directed work on warning radar systems for detecting incoming intercontinental missiles. In 1960, he joined the Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California, as vice president and general manager of the engineering division, leading engineering studies on missile and satellite systems for the US Air Force and NASA. One of the projects that he managed was the development of the Titan 3C heavy lift rocket system.

In 1968, Edward joined Varian Associates in Palo Alto as vice president of the instrument division, which manufactured chemical analytical instruments such as gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers. He worked there until his retirement in 1984.


Edward was recognized by the city of Los Angeles for his work in civil rights and also by NASA for his service on the Rogers Commission that worked to help return the space shuttle to flight after the Challenger disaster. In 1968, he was elected into the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. He received a Presidential Citation from the Cooper Union in 1971.


Memorial Tributes: Volume 17 (2013), the National Academies Press pages 18-21 Link