The virtuous life of MIT Professor John G. Trump
Media scholar Heather Hendershot on the life of John G. Trump, PhD '33
Heather Hendershot; photo by Jon Sachs/SHASS Communications
"This is not the sort of man who would take a global pandemic as a personal affront — a 'liberal media hoax' — rather than directing his energy and resources toward care and prevention."
— Heather Hendershot, MIT Professor of Comparative Media Studies
John G. Trump received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the New York University Tandon School of Engineering (then Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn) in 1929, his master's degree in physics from Columbia University, and his doctorate of electrical engineering from MIT in 1933. He served as an MIT Professor 1936 until 1973.
EXCERPT | MARCH 12, 2020 | THE WASHINGTON POST
"One thing is abundantly clear: John Trump had the strength of character that his nephew Donald lacks. The kindness and compassion that shine through in John Trump’s records, not to mention his philanthropic nature, are precisely what the president lacks today.
"This is not the sort of man who would take a global pandemic as a personal affront — a 'liberal media hoax' — rather than directing his energy and resources toward care and prevention. In his televised address on Wednesday, the president seemed to finally take the virus seriously, yet he also framed the U.S. response in xenophobic terms and did not realistically convey the immensity of the building public health crisis.
"The notion that 'good genes' have made the president a natural expert in epidemiology is obviously dangerous nonsense. Rather than simply bragging about his inherited 'natural ability,' Donald Trump should serve the nation by bringing his uncle’s values to the presidency."
About Professor John Trump | MIT Museum
Pioneer in the use of high-voltage energy; MIT Department of Electrical Engineering: Research Associate 1933-1936; Faculty 1936-1980; Professor Emeritus and Senior Lecturer 1980-1985; Director, High Voltage Research Laboratory 1952-1980; Radiation Laboratory: Head of Field Service 1942-1945