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Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Astronomer
    (October 5, 1958- )
    Born in The Bronx, New York
    Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
    Served on the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy (informally known as the 'Moon, Mars and Beyond Commission')
    Wrote 'Just Visiting This Planet' (1998), 'Cosmic Horizons: Astronomy at the Cutting Edge' (2000), 'The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist' (2004), 'Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandries' (2007) and 'The Pluto Files' (2009)
    Host of 'NOVA ScienceNOW' (2006- )
    During a redseign of exhibits at the Hayden Planetarium, he dropped Pluto from the list of planets well before its official demotion, resulting in him receiving hate mail, much of it from children.
    Just before Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign for the presidential nomination, he wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times urging her (and the Democratic party superdelegates) to reconsider, claiming that statistical analysis showed that she would beat John McCain in the general election while Barack Obama would lose.
    He made a public service announcement for PeTA.
    At Harvard, he was a member of the crew team his freshman year and lettered in wrestling his senior year.
    He won a gold medal as member of the University of Texas dance team at a national Latin Ballroom tournament (1985).
    He became The Colbert Report's most frequent guest, with eight appearances during 2005-11.
    He said about his agnosticism, 'Every account of a higher power that I've seen described, of all religions that I've seen include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence.'
    In People magazine's 'Sexiest Man of the Year' issue, he was named 'Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive.' (2000)

Credit: C. Fishel


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