Marshall Harvey Stone
BornApril 8, 1903
DiedJanuary 9, 1989 (1989-01-10) (aged 85)
EducationHarvard University (BA, PhD)
Known forStone duality
Stone functor
Stone space
Stone's theorem on one-parameter unitary groups
Stone's representation theorem for Boolean algebras
Stone–von Neumann theorem
Stone–Čech compactification
Stone–Weierstrass theorem
Banach–Stone theorem
Glivenko–Stone theorem
AwardsNational Medal of Science (1982)
Gibbs Lecture (1956)
ICM Speaker (1936)
Scientific career
FieldsReal analysis, Functional analysis, Boolean algebra, Topology
InstitutionsHarvard University
University of Chicago
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Thesis Ordinary Linear Homogeneous Differential Equations of Order n and the Related Expansion Problems  (1926)
Doctoral advisorG. D. Birkhoff
Doctoral students
Marshall Stone's 1950 International Congress of Mathematicians letter of resignation

Marshall Harvey Stone (April 8, 1903 – January 9, 1989) was an American mathematician who contributed to real analysis, functional analysis, topology and the study of Boolean algebras.


Stone was the son of Harlan Fiske Stone, who was the Chief Justice of the United States in 1941–1946. Marshall Stone's family expected him to become a lawyer like his father, but he became enamored of mathematics while he was an undergraduate at Harvard University, where he was a classmate of future judge Henry Friendly. He completed a PhD there in 1926, with a thesis on differential equations that was supervised by George David Birkhoff.[1] Between 1925 and 1937, he taught at Harvard, Yale University, and Columbia University. Stone was promoted to a full professor at Harvard in 1937.

During World War II, Stone did classified research as part of the "Office of Naval Operations" and the "Office of the Chief of Staff" of the United States Department of War. In 1946, he became the chairman of the Mathematics Department at the University of Chicago, a position that he held until 1952. While chairman, Stone hired several notable mathematicians including Paul Halmos, André Weil, Saunders Mac Lane, Antoni Zygmund, and Shiing-Shen Chern. He remained on the faculty at this university until 1968, after which he taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst until 1980.

In 1989, Stone died in Madras, India (now referred to as Chennai), due to a stroke. Following his death, many mathematicians praised Stone for his contributions to various mathematical fields. For instance, University of Massachusetts Amherst mathematician Larry Mann claimed that "Professor Stone was one of the greatest American mathematicians of this century," while Mac Lane described how Stone made the University of Chicago mathematics department the "best department in mathematics in the country in that period."[2]


Stone made several advances in the 1930s:

Stone was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1933 and the National Academy of Sciences (United States) in 1938.[3][4] He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1943.[5] He presided over the American Mathematical Society, 1943–44, and the International Mathematical Union, 1952–54. In 1982, he was awarded the National Medal of Science.[6]

Selected publications

See also


  1. ^ "Marshall Stone - The Mathematics Genealogy Project". Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  2. ^ Kolata, Gina. "M.H. Stone, Acclaimed Mathematician, Dies at 85". New York Times.
  3. ^ "Marshall Harvey Stone". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2023-04-14.
  4. ^ "Marshall H. Stone". Retrieved 2023-04-14.
  5. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 2023-04-14.
  6. ^ National Science Foundation - The President's National Medal of Science
  7. ^ Hille, Einar (1934). "Review: Linear transformations in Hilbert space and their applications to analysis, by M. H. Stone". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 40 (11): 777–780. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1934-05973-1.