Albert Crary (1911 - 1987) was a polar explorer and geophysicist.
He was born in 1911 into a farming family in northern New York state. He was the second oldest in a family of 7 children. He was a physics major and geology student at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. He graduated in 1931 Phi Beta Kappa from St. Lawrence University and then went on to Lehigh University for a master's degree in physics. After spending years completing and facilitating research at both poles, Crary eventually settled in the Washington, D.C,. area with his wife and son.
Crary's polar expeditions were to the North Pole on May 3, 1952, with Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict. He also led an eight-person team on an expedition to the South Pole on February 12, 1961. The south pole expedition had set out from McMurdo Station on December 10, 1960, using three Snowcats with trailers. Crary was the seventh expedition leader to arrive at the South Pole by surface transportation (the six others before him were—in sequence— Amundsen, Scott, Hillary, Fuchs, a Russian expedition in 1959/60 from Vostok base, and Havola). He was widely admired for his intellect, wit, skills and as a great administrator for polar research expeditions.
In the 1957-58 International Geophysical Year, Mr. Crary was deputy chief scientist for the Antarctic program for the United States and scientific leader at Little America, a base for exploration of the continent.
Crary passed away in October 1987.
In 1991, the National Science Foundation (NSF), which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP), honored his memory by dedicating a state-of-the-art laboratory complex in his name, the Albert P. Crary Science and Engineering Center (CSEC) located in McMurdo Station. He was also honored to have the Crary Mountains (76 degrees 48' S, 117 degrees 40' W) and the Crary Ice Rise in the Antarctic named for him.