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John Dobson

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2014 | Elaine Woo
John Dobson, a former monk and self-taught stargazer who developed a powerful, inexpensive telescope that almost anyone could build and showed thousands how to do it during five decades as one of public astronomy's most influential evangelists, has died. He was 98. Dobson died Wednesday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, said Bob Alborzian, coordinator of the Burbank chapter of Sidewalk Astronomers, an international organization that Dobson helped found in 1968. Dobson had been in poor health since a stroke a few years ago. Called the "Johnny Appleseed of amateur astronomy," the lanky, ponytailed Dobson started building telescopes in the 1950s when he was a monk at the Vedanta Monastery in San Francisco.
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NATIONAL
March 17, 2014 | By Elaine Woo
Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon, the heiress, philanthropist and horticulturist who was a confidante of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and became a central figure in the trial of John Edwards by using her money to hide his mistress during his 2008 presidential campaign, has died at her Virginia estate. She was 103.  Her death was confirmed by her assistant, Tony Willis. Mellon was the granddaughter of the inventor of Listerine who gained even greater wealth when she married banking scion Paul Mellon.
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NEWS
January 23, 1991 | DAVID WHARTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The sun is a big green ball. The universe is raisin pudding. And the sidewalk astronomer wants everyone to see the heavens. So he crisscrosses the land in an old orange van, stopping where there are people. Street corners, parks, parking lots. He pulls out his strange telescopes, built of cardboard and scrap wood and portholes. Crowds gather around. Look, he says. Peer at the cosmos. "If they don't see the universe, they won't wonder about it," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2014 | Elaine Woo
John Dobson, a former monk and self-taught stargazer who developed a powerful, inexpensive telescope that almost anyone could build and showed thousands how to do it during five decades as one of public astronomy's most influential evangelists, has died. He was 98. Dobson died Wednesday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, said Bob Alborzian, coordinator of the Burbank chapter of Sidewalk Astronomers, an international organization that Dobson helped found in 1968. Dobson had been in poor health since a stroke a few years ago. Called the "Johnny Appleseed of amateur astronomy," the lanky, ponytailed Dobson started building telescopes in the 1950s when he was a monk at the Vedanta Monastery in San Francisco.
NEWS
August 30, 2005 | Hugo Martin, Times Staff Writer
JOHN DOBSON fumes while shuffling between half a dozen homemade telescopes arrayed across a yard like cannons. It's hot here in the Willamette Valley, and Dobson has been teaching pupils the intricacies of telescope building for three weeks, and he's losing patience. The heat is baking the old man's shirtless skin red, and his white ponytail glistens. He roams among his students, some in their 30s and others who are seniors, as they polish reflecting mirrors by hand.
NEWS
September 6, 2005
Regarding "Heaven on Earth" [Aug. 30], I first met John Dobson back in the mid-'70s at the Riverside Telescope Maker's Conference, held in Idyllwild. Even back then he was a bit cantankerous, but also very knowledgeable and entertaining. It was a pleasure to discover that he's still alive and kicking. ARNIE RICHARDS Downey
NATIONAL
March 17, 2014 | By Elaine Woo
Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon, the heiress, philanthropist and horticulturist who was a confidante of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and became a central figure in the trial of John Edwards by using her money to hide his mistress during his 2008 presidential campaign, has died at her Virginia estate. She was 103.  Her death was confirmed by her assistant, Tony Willis. Mellon was the granddaughter of the inventor of Listerine who gained even greater wealth when she married banking scion Paul Mellon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 1999 | MATTHEW FORDAHL, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Flinging his shirt over the branch of a nearby birch, John Dobson strolls toward the telescopes and the six apprehensive students who built them. It's the final inspection by the teacher, a former monk who decades ago revolutionized amateur astronomy with a design for a cheap but powerful telescope. The telescopes are simple, like the life of their inventor. Simple, maybe. But both the man and his design are challenging.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 1999
We all love John Dobson, founder of the Sidewalk Astronomers, and have great respect for the work done by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society at Griffith Observatory ("Good Heavens," by Brenda Rees, Feb. 18). But I do feel it necessary to add a bit more. There are many other clubs in the Southern California area where the public can go, free of charge, to enjoy the universe of amateur astronomy. A list of these clubs can be found at the Griffith Observatory Web site, http://www.griffithObs.
NEWS
August 30, 2005 | Hugo Martin, Times Staff Writer
FROM atop a stone amphitheater on Yosemite National Park's Glacier Point, a pink glow envelops Half Dome and distant Sierra Nevada peaks as the sun sets. It's a beautiful scene, but the 20 or so amateur astronomers milling about didn't haul their bulky telescopes way up here to look at granite. The real show, the star party, begins when daylight yields and a billion sparkling lights spring from darkness.
NEWS
September 6, 2005
Regarding "Heaven on Earth" [Aug. 30], I first met John Dobson back in the mid-'70s at the Riverside Telescope Maker's Conference, held in Idyllwild. Even back then he was a bit cantankerous, but also very knowledgeable and entertaining. It was a pleasure to discover that he's still alive and kicking. ARNIE RICHARDS Downey
NEWS
August 30, 2005 | Hugo Martin, Times Staff Writer
JOHN DOBSON fumes while shuffling between half a dozen homemade telescopes arrayed across a yard like cannons. It's hot here in the Willamette Valley, and Dobson has been teaching pupils the intricacies of telescope building for three weeks, and he's losing patience. The heat is baking the old man's shirtless skin red, and his white ponytail glistens. He roams among his students, some in their 30s and others who are seniors, as they polish reflecting mirrors by hand.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 1999 | MATTHEW FORDAHL, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Flinging his shirt over the branch of a nearby birch, John Dobson strolls toward the telescopes and the six apprehensive students who built them. It's the final inspection by the teacher, a former monk who decades ago revolutionized amateur astronomy with a design for a cheap but powerful telescope. The telescopes are simple, like the life of their inventor. Simple, maybe. But both the man and his design are challenging.
NEWS
January 23, 1991 | DAVID WHARTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The sun is a big green ball. The universe is raisin pudding. And the sidewalk astronomer wants everyone to see the heavens. So he crisscrosses the land in an old orange van, stopping where there are people. Street corners, parks, parking lots. He pulls out his strange telescopes, built of cardboard and scrap wood and portholes. Crowds gather around. Look, he says. Peer at the cosmos. "If they don't see the universe, they won't wonder about it," he said.
NEWS
September 24, 1995 | MARK EHRMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
If you've come to catch a glimpse of Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis or Michael Jackson, you're at the wrong Star Party. But if it's a peek at a genuine celestial body you're after, then this monthly event at the Griffith Observatory is just the ticket--the ticket at the right price, too. It's free. One Saturday a month, the long flat lawn in front of the observatory appears to sprout dozens of telescopes, deck chairs and an unearthly hubbub. Astronomy buffs from the L.A.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 1992 | CAROL WATSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Philo Jewett wants to give you the moon. And the stars. And maybe even Jupiter, depending on the night. "The whole object to me coming out here is meeting people and getting them interested in looking above their heads," said the star buff, setting up his self-assembled refractor telescope on a Sherman Oaks sidewalk. Jewett, 45, of Studio City is following the example of sidewalk astronomers popular 50 to 100 years ago, who shared their passion for the stars by taking it to the streets.
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