Nation's 'brightest boy' dead at 93

June 11, 2006

NASA rocket scientist Wilber B. Huston, selected by Thomas Edison as the nation's "brightest boy" in 1929, died May 25 in Fountain Hills, Ariz.

He was 93.

Huston was chosen as the representative of the State of Washington and was tested in mathematics, physics, chemistry and cultural and moral issues, said The News York Times.

After winning the competition, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with Edison offering to pay all expenses.

Huston was known from then on as "Edison's smartest boy" or "America's Brightest Boy," the Times said.

His every move was chronicled. Huston expressed some irritation, saying that he disliked being referred to by variants of the "smartest boy."

He later joined the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., where he was mission director for the launching of seven weather satellites. He retired from the government to do private consulting work in 1974.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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