Washington, DC—Former chairman of the Carnegie board of trustees and former chairman of E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company died after a long illness on Sunday, January 3, at his home in Pennsylvania. Heckert was born in Oxford, Ohio, on January 13, 1924. Son of a college professor, he received his B.A. in chemistry from Miami University in Ohio in 1944, then joined the U.S. Army and worked on the Manhattan Project. After his military service, he obtained an M.A. and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois. Heckert joined the Carnegie Institution board in 1980 and was elected chairman in 1986.

Heckert had a keen appreciation for Carnegie’s scientific accomplishments and recognized the institution’s need to adapt to the changing world of science. Under his leadership, the board embarked on the first capital campaign in 1989 to revitalize its scientific infrastructure and programs. With his hands-on style and dedication to research, Heckert was enormously successful in the $50 million fundraising effort. His tireless work helped the Magellan telescope project at Las Campanas, Chile, to succeed. Even after he stepped down as Carnegie chairman in 1992, he continued to lead the campaign to its successful completion in 1996.

Heckert remained an active trustee until 1997. In addition to his distinguished fundraising efforts and wise counsel, Heckert has generously supported the institution over the years. He is a member of the Edwin Hubble Society, which honors individuals who contribute between $1 million and $10 million to Carnegie during their lives.

 Heckert is survived by his wife Joanna C. Heckert. He survived his first wife, Barbara K. Heckert, who died in 1995. They had two children—Alex Heckert of Connecticut and Andra Rudershausen of Pennsylvania—and six grandchildren. There will be a memorial service at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 10 West Pleasant Grove, West Chester, PA at 11 am on Saturday, January 16th.