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Letter from Linus Pauling to the United States Board of Parole. November 3, 1952.
Pauling writes to support Sidney Weinbaum's application for parole from prison.


3 November 1952

U.S. Board of Parole

Department of Justice

HOLC Building


I am writing in support of the application of Dr. Sidney Weinbaum now at McNeil Island, for parole.

I have known Dr. Weinbaum for nearly thirty years. He was an undergraduate student at the California Institute of Technology while I was a graduate student, and we attended some classes together. I did not become very well acquainted with him until 1929. At that time he had lost his job, just when the young man who had been appointed my assistant had been drowned in the sinking of the steamer San Juan. Sidney Weinbaum was given appointment as my research assistant, and from 1929 he continued for nearly fifteen years to serve in this capacity. He completed work for the Ph.D. degree in physics, under my direction.

Dr Weinbaum is a man of considerable ability, and with extensive training in the physical and mathematical fields. He served as a very effective collaborator with me in various investigations in the field of fundamental research, including quantum mechanics and the determination of the structure of crystals with x-rays.

Although I have not known Dr. Weinbaum intimately, except in this professional capacity, where I had day-to-day contact with him, I may say that I have always had confidence in him as a reliable and thoughtful person. So far as I am aware he has not been accused of any subversive activities that involve his access to classified material. I do not know enough about the circumstances attending his arrest, trial, and conviction for perjury to feel that I understand this matter. I may say, however, that I consider Dr. Weinbaum to be a trustworthy and loyal American citizen, and it seems to me that the events leading to his conviction must have resulted from circumstances that strained him beyond his control. I do not think that Dr. Weinbaum is a man of strong will. I think, however, that he is a good man, and I hope that it will be possible to give him parole.

Sincerely yours,

Linus Pauling:W

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