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Jerome “Jerry” Milgram

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of  former Visiting Investigator Jerome “Jerry” Milgram on December 20 at his home in Winchester, Mass., with his family by his side.  He was 83.

Jerry was born in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania, on September 23, 1938,  the oldest child of Samuel Milgram and Fannie (Marmor) Milgram. He loved sailing from an early age and was captain of the sailing team at MIT, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1961 and his PhD in 1965.  Even while teaching and doing research, he loved outdoor activities including cycling and sailing his self-designed boat, the Cascade.

Jerry was the W. I. Koch Professor of Marine Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he taught since 1970. Jerry was a member of the National Academy of Engineers and recipient of the 2017 Gibbs Brothers Medal (awarded for outstanding contributions in the field of naval architecture and marine engineering).  Jerry contributed to the development of many technologies associated with oceans: boat design, oil spill clean-up, tug, and tow technology, underwater submersibles, and even holograms that detected plankton. He often worked closely with the United States Navy and the Coast Guard. Jerry was the design
director and chief computer modeler for America3, which won the America’s Cup in 1992 by using a more scientific approach to the design of racing yachts.

Jerry was a Guest Investigator in WHOI’s AOP&E Department from 1998 to 2003 and a Visiting Investigator in WHOI’s Biology Department in 2004.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Robin (Horowitz) Milgram; his stepson and daughter-in-law, Eben and Uromi Manage Goodale; his grandson, David Parakrama Goodale; his sister Linda  (Milgram) Becker; his nephew Eric Ring and his wife Melissa Wallen; his late nephew Steven Ring and his wife Mary Ring, and their children Andrew and Melissa.

Jerry was kind, smart, and witty. He was a devoted husband, and loving brother, father, uncle, and grandfather, who will be deeply missed.

An online Memorial Service, hosted by Eben and Eric, occurred on January 8, 2022. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Oceana  (, which is the largest international ocean conservation organization, or to MIT (

Information for this obituary is from the website