John A. Wheeler, physicist who gave black holes their nickname, dies at 96

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. — Physicist John A. Wheeler, who had a key role in the development of the atom bomb and later gave the space phenomenon black holes their name, has died at 96.

Wheeler, for many years a professor at Princeton University, died of pneumonia Sunday at his home in Hights­town, said his daughter, Alison Wheeler Lahnston.

Wheeler rubbed elbows with colossal figures such as Albert Einstein and Danish scientist Niels Bohr, with whom Wheeler worked in the 1930s and ’40s.

“For me, he was the last Titan, the only physics superhero still standing,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist Max Tegmark told The New York Times.

Associated Press

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