Since 1996, Tyson has served as the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. In 1997, he also established the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. From 2006 to 2011, Neil served as the host of the PBS program “Nova ScienceNow,” and he has since hosted the podcast “StarTalk,” which was named one of “Rolling Stone” magazine’s “The 20 Best Comedy Podcasts Right Now” in 2014.
On October 5, 1958, in Manhattan, New York City, Neil deGrasse Tyson was born. His father, Cyril, was a sociologist, human resources commissioner, and director of Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited. His mother, Sunchita, was a gerontologist for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Cyril passed away in 2016.
Neil developed an interest in astronomy at the age of 9 when he started spending time at the Hayden Planetarium. Neil, together with his siblings Lynn and Stephen, grew up in Tyson Hill and Riverdale. He attended P.S. 36, P.S. 81, P.S. 141 (now known as Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy), and The Bronx High School of Science, all of which are public schools in the Bronx. He attended The Bronx High School of Science, where he graduated in 1976 after serving as the team’s captain and editor-in-chief of the “Physical Science Journal”.
When Tyson was 15 years old, he started giving astronomy lectures. Renowned astronomer Carl Sagan tried to persuade Tyson to enroll at Cornell University, but he ultimately decided on Harvard. Neil completed his undergraduate studies in physics in 1980, and the University of Texas at Austin awarded him a master’s degree in astronomy in 1983. He continued on to teach astronomy at the University of Maryland (1986–1987), and he earned a Ph.D. and an MPhil from Columbia University in 1989 and 1991, respectively (both in astrophysics).
Tyson joined the Hayden Planetarium in 1994 as a staff scientist and rose to the position of director in 1996. Neil began writing a monthly column for “Natural History” magazine in 1995. He has also contributed to a number of scholarly publications. In the early 2000s, President George W. Bush appointed Tyson to the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy and the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry.
In 2004, Tyson also served as the host of the PBS miniseries “Origins.” Neil has held the positions of president, vice-president, and board chairman for the Planetary Society. In 2001, he stirred up some controversy by omitting Pluto from the Hayden Planetarium’s solar system exhibit. The “StarTalk” podcast debuted in 2009, and in 2015, the National Geographic Channel converted “StarTalk” into a late-night talk program. Tyson started hosting “Nova ScienceNow” in 2006, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” in 2014, and the “StarTalk” podcast in 2009.
A well-known personality in popular culture, Neil frequently made appearances on talk shows and radio programs. In addition to several TV series like “Stargate: Atlantis” (2008), “The Big Bang Theory” (2010 and 2018), “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (2016), and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” he has appeared in the movies “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016), “Lazer Team” (2016), “Zoolander 2” (2016), and “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time” (2018). (2015). Additionally, Tyson provided voiceovers for “Ice Age: Collision Course,” “Family Guy,” “BoJack Horseman,” and “The Simpsons” in 2016. (2017).
Career in Writing
1989 saw the release of Tyson’s debut book, “Merlin’s Tour of the Universe,” which was followed by “Universe Down to Earth” and “Just Visiting This Planet” in 1994 and 1998, respectively. In addition, he is the author of several other books, including “Letters from an Astrophysicist” (2019), “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry,” “The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist,” “One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos,” and “The Sky Is Not the Limit: At Home in the Universe” (2004). “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” spent more than a year on the “New York Times” Best Seller List and sold over one million copies.
In 1988, Neil married Alice Young, whom he had met in a physics class. The couple had two children, Travis and Miranda. Wine Spectator and “The World of Fine Wine” have both featured Tyson’s collection as a connoisseur of wine. For alleged instances from 1984 to 2018, Neil was accused of sexual assault by four women in 2018.
He asserted that the other charges were instances of his actions being misunderstood, and he disputed the 1984 rape allegation. The launch of “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” and “StarTalk” was postponed, however in March 2019, Fox and National Geographic announced that the investigation was closed and Tyson’s programs would restart.
Honors and Awards
For his dedication to igniting public interest in science, Tyson was awarded a Public Welfare Medal by the American National Academy of Sciences in 2015. In addition, he received the Columbia University Medal of Excellence in 2001, the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal in 2004, the Science Writing Award in 2005, and the American Humanist Association’s Isaac Asimov Award in 2009.
Neil was rated the Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive by “People” magazine in 2000 and received the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Reality Show Host in 2014 for “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”
He was listed among the world’s most influential people in “Time” magazine’s 2007 list, and “Discover Magazine” listed him among the “10 Most Influential People in Science” on their 2008 list. Twenty universities, including Yale University, Mount Holyoke College, and Gettysburg College, have awarded him honorary doctorates.
American astrophysicist, author, and scientific communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson has a $5 million dollar fortune.