GEORGE LOVI - 1939-l993 --------------------- John Pazmino NYSkies Astronomy Inc email@example.com www.nyskies.org 1993 May 1
George Lovi died on Thursday 18 February 1993; he succumbed to liver cancer at St Peter's Med Ctr, New Brunswick NJ. George Lovi was born in Hungary and carne to America in the throes of World War II. He grew up in Brownsville BK in the 1950s and 1960s. He first tasted astronomy in the Junior Astronomy Club and was active in its Observing Council. He ran in the circle of other astronomers in the City and sported with them on the streets, alleys, and rooftops of Brooklyn. He affiliated into the Amateur Astronomers Association and served with it thruout the 1960s, mostly in the Observing Group. He was on the 08 Committee, was the Deepsky Recorder, and gave frequent talks at the meetings. Lovi was a regular participant in the Fieldston starviewing meetings and the earlier cycle of Brooklyn Observatory sessions. He began his writing career with frequent articles in EYEPIECE. Tho in his later years he was an unaattached astronomer, he posited that the single first thing a new astronomer must do is actively affiliate with a strong astronomy union. He often recounted his early attachment to the Association that exposed, promoted, encouraged, and even consoled him in his astronomy growth. In fact, a private and personal sadness he harbored concerned the rarity of such influential and established astronomy societies elsewhere. Lovi started studies at Columbia University. However, these were' suspended to pursue his livelihood as a draftsman. There he honed the skills in cartography and calligraphy to be so much a part of his astronomy work. George Lovi lived in various parts of the City area and in Boston MA. The latter was during his term as an editor for Sky and Telescope. He expanded over the years his astronomy writing to that magazine, including his 'Rambling through the Skies' column, other astronomy periodicals, and newsletter and journal articles. He authored and coauthored about a dozen books. These range from pamphlets like "Seasonal Starcharts" to 'Uranometria', his magnum opus and now-standard staratlas. His works are collectibles among astrocognescenti and they regularly turn up at bookfairs. George Lovi was active in the American Association of Variable Star Observers and was a chart compiler for new stars added to its program. He served as lecturer on starID for several eclipse tours in the 1970s and 1980s. He was well versed in astrocartography, constellation lore, deepsky spotting, and celestial motions. He had a particular passion for the stereographic map projection and he exploited it for homemade astrolabes and his centerfold starcharts in S&T. An other major interest was planetaria. Lovi worked at several in the City area, beginning with the Brooklyn Children's Museum in the early 1960s. At his mother's home he built a planetarium seating four and in the 1970s he worked for Viewlex Co. His writings inspired other astronomers to appreciate the marvels built into these machines and to learn their histories. Beyond astronomy George Lovi was a electric rail buff, a member of the Electric Railroaders Association, and a regular rider on its subway and el excursion trips. A typical Lovi iconograph was the Livonia Avenue el, which conveyed him to the City and the stars in his youth. He also was conversant in mechanics, photography, and optics.