BornChicago, Illinois, USA, 8 October 1911
DiedBloomington, Indiana, USA, 30 May 1999
James Cuffey, an early specialist in photoelectric photometry, was educated at Northwestern University (graduated: 1934) and Harvard (Ph.D.: 1938), and joined the small astronomy department at Indiana in 1938. From 1941 to 1946, he served in the United States Navy as navigation instructor at the Naval Academy.
Cuffey invented and later patented the Cuffey iris photometer for measuring the density of images on photographic negatives as a measure of the light intensity recorded in the emulsion. A student of color-magnitude relationships in globular and open clusters, he published light curves for cluster variables and was recognized for his photometric atlas of M53. In 1966, Cuffey joined Clyde Tombaughin building up astronomy at New Mexico State University, choosing its observatory site, creating several small meteor observatories, and organizing the program. At both Indiana and New Mexico State,...