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Donald H. McLaughlin


1996 Inductee from Mining's Past

Donald McLaughlin was born in San Francisco in 1891. His father, a gold rush miner, died while McLaughlin was a child and his education was overseen by his mother’s employer, Phoebe Apperson Hearst. He studied mining engineering at the University of California and obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University with academic honors. After returning from military service in 1919, his association with the Hearst family provided his first job working for Cerro de Pasco Corporation in Peru, where he served as chief geologist between 1919 and 1925. In 1925, he returned to Harvard as its youngest full professor and eventually became chairman of the Division of Geological Sciences.

During World War II, McLaughlin returned to the University of California as Dean of its College of Mines before returning to Cerro de Pasco in 1943 as its Vice President and then General Manager. In 1946, he joined Homestake Mining Company as its President and Chief Executive; he served as its Chairman of the Board until 1970.

McLaughlin’s careers in teaching and industry also included significant service to government as he served as a member of the first National Science Board of the National Science Foundation, the Hoover Commission, and the advisory committee with the United States Geological Survey.

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