Astronomical Giant "Many pages would be needed to give a full account of Henry Norris Russell and his work ... "No one individual in American astronomy has ever equaled his influence throughout five decades as consultant on problems and programs. He grew up with astrophysics. At Princeton, at the Bureau of Standards, at Harvard and at the western observatories, he advised, computed, speculated, incited. He also grew up with eclipsing star theory, with modern thinking on planetary origins, and with the deduction of the masses of the stars; in fact, he fathered these developments."
So wrote Harvard Observatory director Harlow Shapley, a student of Russell's. Russell (1877-1957) will always be remembered for developing, independent of Ejnar Hertzsprung, the diagram that plots stellar luminosities against surface temperatures, one of the most powerful tools in astronomy.