Richard Courant was born in Lublintz, Germany, on January 8, 1888, later becoming an American citizen. He was a mathematician, researcher and teacher, specializing in variational calculus and its applications to physics, computer science, and related fields. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Gottingen, Germany, lectured at Cambridge University and headed the mathematics department at New York University. Courant's writings include Introduction to Calculus and Analysis (1965), written with John Fritz, Differential and Integral Calculus (1965), Methods of Mathematical Physics: Dirichlet's Principle, Conformal Mapping and Minimal Surfaces (1950), and Supersonic Flow and Shock Waves (1948). He edited a mathematics series and contributed to journals and periodicals. Courant received the Distinguished Service Award from the Mathematical Association of America in 1965. He earned the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, the Knight-Commander's cross, and Germany's Star of the Order of Merit in 1958. Courant died on January 27, 1972.