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David Norman Schramm (October 25, 1945December 19, 1997) was an American astrophysicist. He was born in St. Louis, Missourimarker. He earned a Ph.D in physics at Caltechmarker in 1971, and went on to become one of the world's foremost experts on the Big Bang theory and an early proponent of the theory of dark matter.

Schramm received the Robert J. Trumpler Award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1974, the Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy from the American Astronomical Society in 1978, and he was awarded the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize from the American Physical Society in 1993.

Schramm was killed on December 19, 1997, when the plane he was piloting crashed near Denver, Coloradomarker. He was the sole occupant of the Swearingen-Fairchild SA-226 aircraft. According to the National Transportation Safety Board report on the accident, the cause of the crash was "(t)he pilot inadvertently stalling the aircraft and his subsequent spatial disorientation which prevented him from maintaining aircraft control. Factors were excessive workload on the pilot and the dark night light conditions". At the time of his death he was Vice President for Research and Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in the Physical Sciences at the University of Chicagomarker.

The David N. Schramm Award for High Energy Astrophysics Science Journalism was created in his honour in the year 2000 by the High-Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society.

More information about David Schramm can be found in a University of Chicago obituary.


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