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When Dr. Helmut Erich Landsberg died on December 6, 1985, just 2 months before his 80th birthday, AGU lost an outstanding leader and one of its biggest contributors. He died suddenly in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was participating in the ninth session of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Landsberg had received AGU's highest honor, and Past President A.E. Maxwell, in informing Helmut that he was to be the recipient of the 1978 Bowie Medal, wrote the following: “You were selected for your outstanding contribution to fundamental geophysics and your unselfish cooperation in research. Recognizing your enormous contributions to the AGU over many years, a society that is very much yours is going to take great pride in honoring you…”