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Clarisse DorisHellman

C. Doris Hellman’s study of Johannes Kepler and other Renaissance scientists made her one of the first professional historians of science in the US. Hellman studied math and astronomy at Vassar, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1930. She earned a PhD from Columbia in 1943. Her doctoral thesis, The Comet of 1577: Its Place in the History of Astronomy, was published the following year. In 1959 she published her most esteemed work, her translation of Max Caspar’s biography Johannes Kepler from German to English. Hellman taught at the Pratt Institute from 1951–1966 and served briefly as an adjunct in the history of science at NYU from 1964–1966 before joining the faculty of Queens College of the City University of New York from 1966 until her death. Hellman was recognized as an expert on Renaissance-era science and was made a fellow of both the Royal Astronomical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She served as a delegate representing the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council to the Ninth International Congress of the History of Science in Barcelona in 1959. From 1942–1973 she was an active supporter of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Girls.

More on Clarisse Doris Hellman


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Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

Date of Death
Professor, Historian, Writer

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Clarisse Doris Hellman." (Viewed on December 10, 2019) <>.


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