Dr. Ben Fitzpatrick, Jr.


I was born in Miami, Florida in September of 1932, the second son of Ben and Frances Fitzpatrick. I have one brother, Daniel, a retired veterinarian. After attending public schools in Miami, I enrolled in Auburn University (then known as Alabama Polytechnic Institute), where I majored in mathematics, graduating in 1952. I started graduate school there, where I met Marjorie Higgins, to whom I have been married the past forty-seven years.

We left Auburn in 1953 and moved to Dallas, where we both worked for Chance Vought Aircraft, and where our daughter Susan Frances was born.

In 1955 I began graduate school at the University of Texas. We lived in Austin for the next four years, and our sons Jack David and Kenneth Daniel were born there. I received the PhD degree in 1958 under the direction of Professor H.J.Ettlinger. Both Margie and I took courses from the legendary R.L.Moore, and most of my subsequent work in mathematics has been in the direction in which Dr.Moore started me.

In 1959 we returned to Auburn, I as an Assistant Professor and Margie as an Instructor. Our boss was W.V.Parker, under whom we had studied before going to Texas. He was an outstanding teacher and Departmental Chair, and we will always be indebted to him. Margie continued her graduate studies and finished her work in 1964. She was the first PhD student of Emilie Haynsworth.

I later served as Department Chair myself, but my first love (other than family) has always been teaching. It has been my great good fortune through the years to be able to get good minds interested in problems I was interested in.

While on the faculty at Auburn, we were able to travel a good bit, which we have always enjoyed. We have had extended visits in Egypt, England, and China.

I retired from Auburn in 1992, and we moved to San Antonio, Texas; I was on the faculty of University of the Incarnate Word from 1992 to 1996. We now live in the house we bought from the estate of our cherished colleague and friend Emilie Haynsworth. Our son Jack and his fine family live in Auburn. Susan and her family live in Dothan, Alabama, about two hours away. Kenneth lives in Jonas Ridge, North Carolina. Our children are extremely helpful to us in many ways.

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Latest revision: 21 Nov. 2011