Forman Sinnickson Acton was born in Salem City and he went on to change the world.
Born on August 10, 1920, he began his education in the Salem City school system before attending private boarding school at Phillips Exeter Academy and college at Princeton University. He graduated with two degrees in engineering toward the end of World War II, during which he served in the Army Corps of Engineers and worked on a team involved in the Manhattan Project.
After his service, he earned his doctorate in mathematics from Carnegie Institute of Technology, helped the Army develop the world’s first anti-aircraft missiles and became a pioneer in the evolving field of computer science.
Acton conducted research and taught at Princeton from 1952 to 1990, during which time he wrote textbooks on mathematics at his cabin on Woodmere Lake in Quinton Township, Salem County. When he turned 80, he joined the Lower Alloways Creek pool to stay in shape, swimming six days a week for 14 years.
He died on February 18, 2014, in Woodstown, New Jersey, but not before he anonymously donated thousands of dollars toward scholarships for Salem City School District students, some of whom are just now graduating college. Before he passed, he made it clear to friends and confidants that he wanted these students to have access to the incredible educational experiences he enjoyed.
Eight months after his passing, the Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation was officially incorporated to ensure that all Salem youth also have a chance to change the world.
To read more about Forman's life, please visit the links below:
Wikipedia: Forman S. Acton
Princeton News: Pioneer in computing dies
Philadelphia Inquirer: A New Jersey son's rich legacy of learning
The Adam blog: A Cool and Righteous Dude
South Jersey Times: Forman Sinnickson Acton obituary