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Read: The welcome letter from NOAA's first administrator

January 13, 2020
Secretary of Commerce Maurice H. Stans signs the department orders needed to put NOAA in operation on October 3, 1970. Dr. White is standing over Sec. Stans’ left shoulder.

On October 9, 1970, Acting NOAA Administrator Dr. Robert White penned a message in NOAA Week, a weekly internal newsletter, welcoming new employees to the agency.

Dr. White, a meteorologist, was eventually confirmed by the Senate to be the first NOAA administrator, and he led the agency until 1977. 

Secretary of Commerce Maurice H. Stans signs the department orders needed to put NOAA in operation on October 3, 1970. Dr. White is standing over Sec. Stans’ left shoulder.
Secretary of Commerce Maurice H. Stans signs the department orders needed to put NOAA in operation on October 3, 1970. Dr. White is standing over Sec. Stans’ left shoulder. (NOAA)