Fred Searls, Jr.
1986 Inductee from Mining's Past
Fred Searls, Jr. was born in Nevada City, California, and graduated from the University of California. He became one of the truly eminent geologists and mine finders of his generation.
Shortly after World War I service, he became associated with Col. William Boyce Thompson, founder of Newmont Mining Corporation. He joined the company in 1925, and served as President from 1947 until 1953, and Chairman from 1953 until his retirement in 1966.
During World War II, Searls was a dollar-a-year man serving as special assistant to Ferdinand Eberstadt, vice chairman of the War Production Board, and as a consultant to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes. In 1951, he was mining and minerals assistant to Charles E. Wilson, Defense Mobilization Director.
He was director and officer of numerous domestic and foreign mining companies. As an alternate member of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, he witnessed the Bikini Atoll H-bomb test. In 1947, he was awarded the Medal of Merit from the U.S. Government. He was the 1946 recipient of the Saunders Medal from AIME, and in 1965 was elected to its Legion of Honor.