Russell Watson Raitt, pioneering marine field geophysicist, AGU Fellow, and emeritus professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, died March 6, 1995, in La Jolla, Calif., where he had lived for more than 50 years. His passing at age 87 closed a life of scholarship, innovation, and accomplishment that produced much of the observational foundation upon which the field that became plate tectonics is based.
Raitt was born September 30, 1907, in Philadelphia, Pa., the son of a Presbyterian minister. He moved to southern California in 1921 and graduated from South Pasadena High School. In 1925 he entered the nearby California Institute of Technology, from which he graduated with a B.S. in physics in 1929.