Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan


Carl Sagan was an American astronomer, Author, science popularizer born on November 9, 1934, In Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

Family Background:

He is the son of Samuel Sagan and his wife Rachel Molly Gruber. His father was immigrant from Kamianets-Podilskyi and worked in the garment industry. His mother was a housewife. He had one sister, Carol Sagan.

Personal Life:

Carl married three times in his life. In 1957, He married Lynn Margulis, Was Biologist. They had two children, Jeremy and Dorion Sagan. In 1965, The couple had divorced. On 6 April 1968, He married Linda Salzman. They had one child, Nick Sagan. They divorced in 1981. In 1981, He married Ann Druyan, who was an author. The couple had two children, Alexandra and Samuel Sagan.


He started his education at local elementary school. After sometimes, He entered at the David A. Boody Junior High School, where he had shown his interest in Chemistry. In 1948, He entered the Rahway High School in New Jersey and completed his graduation there in 1951. In 1954, He enrolled at the University of Chicago and obtained his B.A degree. He also obtained B.S degree in 1955 and M.S degree in 1956. In 1960, He completed his Ph.D. degree in astrophysics.


After completed his education, He had started his career as Miller fellow at the University of California, Where he helped a team of astrophysicists to developed an infrared radiometer for NASA’s Mariner 2 robotic probe. In 1961, Harvard University offered him the opportunity to give a colloquium at Harvard. In 1962, Carl had joined the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, an institute of Harvard University as an assistant professor. He had contributed significantly to the first Mariner missions to Venus, working both on its design and management. Working with Joshua Lederberg, Sagan had also helped to expand the role of biology in NASA. During that time Carl mainly worked on physical conditions of different planets, including Mars and Venus.Carl had studied various data available on Mars. In 1968, He had left the academic tenure and joined the Cornell University as an Associate professor. In 1970, He had become the full professor and also the director of a laboratory for Planetary Studies at the Cornell University. In 1971, Carl and Frank Drake together co-designed the first physical message aimed at extraterrestrial intelligence. In 1972, Carl became the Associate Director of Center of Radiophysics and Space Research and held that post till 1981. In 1976, He had become the professor of Astronomy and Space Science. Later, Sagan had become involved with NASA’s next mission Galileo initially christened Jupiter Orbiter Probe. He had been continued his research work on planetary atmospheres, in astrobiology, and on the origin of life. In 1977, He published his book named, “The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence”. His best-known work “Cosmos” published in 1980.

Unknown Facts:

  • He had dictated all of his writing to an audio recorder.
  • He did not like the Space shuttle program.
  • He wanted to Legalize poet.

Master Stroke:

  • He is known for assembling the first two physical message sent into Space by  NASA.
  • Sagan Published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and also author or co-author of more than 200 books.

Awards and Achievements:

  • Carl Sagan received a number of awards and honors.
  • In 1977 and 1981, He received the NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal.
  • In 1978, He won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, “Dragon of Eden”.
  • In 1994, He received the National Academy of sciences, ‘Public Welfare Medal’.

What can we learn from him??

Like Carl Sagan, Do your work faithfully. Believe in yourself. Never listen to other’s talk.

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