University of Texas
Howard S. Coleman
January 10, 1917–October 29, 1996



Howard S. Coleman

Howard S. Coleman Jr. was born 1917 to Howard and Amy Coleman in Everett, Bedford, Pennsylvania. His siblings included sister Catharine (Yager) and younger brother Robert. Both parents were born in Pennsylvania. Howard’s father was a baker.

Howard was an Eagle Scout. He attended Pennsylvania State University. Above is his picture from the senior 1938 yearbook, La Vie. He played in the band. He was a member of Pi Mu Epsilon in 1942.

Howard married wife, Madeline M. “Amy” Fiorillo, on September 6, 1941. Amy is shown above in her 1941 senior yearbook, La Vie. She was born about 1915. They were divorced August 22, 1969, in El Paso, Texas. He later married Jeanette Dresher (1914–2003).

Howard S. Coleman taught at UT from 1947-51. He was recruited from Penn State, probably because of some work he did on gun sights. This was a subject of much interest to the UT military research program. His laboratory was called “The Naval Research Laboratory in Optics.” He produced many publications related to optics during his time at Texas. The work was supported by the Office of Naval Research.

After leaving UT he became Director of Research at Bausch-Lomb Optical Company and finally vice-president in charge of research and engineering.

In 1956, while at Bausch-Lomb, he accepted an Oscar for the development of the CinemaScope lenses. He had directed its development.

In 1960, an Oscar was presented to Howard S. Coleman (Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.), A. Francis Turner (Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.), Harold H. Schroeder (Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.), James R. Benford (Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.), Harold E. Rosenberger (Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.) “For the design and development of the Balcold projection mirror.” In 1963, he became head of physics research at Melpar, a Washington, D. C. company.

However, in the 1964 Journal of the Optical Society, Howard S. Coleman is mentioned as the new Dean of Engineering at Arizona University. In an announcement of the the new Optical Sciences Center, Dr. Aden B. Meinel, Director of the Steward Observatory, said initial research in the new program "will be concerned with problems of the attainment of very large high-resolution telescopes for balloon and space astronomy." He said Dr. Howard S. Coleman, new dean of the U of A's College of Engineering, "will contribute to a strong interdepartmental program in optics at the U of A." Coleman has an extensive background in optics and optical engineering. "The creation of this new activity at the U of A," Meinel explained, "is in recognition of the important role of optics in the national economy.

Coleman served as dean until 1968. In the University of Arizona. yearbook, The Desert, it states that Coleman previously was director of The Optical Research Laboratory at the University of Texas. He published, with his wife, Madeline F. Coleman, a number of papers in the Journal of the Optical Society of America during this period. She had a PhD in bacteriology. While in Arizona, Howard and Madeline purchased from Will Rogers Jr. and his wife 640 acres for a ranch.

In 1968, Dr. Coleman went to Washington. He became Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Renewable Energy, Office of Solar Heat Technologies Solar Thermal Technology Division. He also served as Director, Special Projects Center, the University of Texas at El Paso, Schellenger Research Laboratories.

He died October 29, 1996 in Arlington, VA. He is buried in Saint Gregory Cemetery, Zelienopie, Butler County, Pennsylvania.

Howard’s wife, Madeline, had a distinguished career also. Madeline Fiorillo was born on October 2, 1914, to Niels and Frances Fiorillo in Philadelphia. Niels was a machinist in a tool factory. Both parents were born in Italy. She had three siblings, Lucy, Libertine, and Michael.

Madeline graduated with a PhD in bacteriology from Penn State University in 1945. Her dissertation was entitled A Serological Study of Strains of Alcaligenes Radiobacter and Phytomonas Tumefaciens in the "M" and "S" Phases, was published with J. J. Reid in J. Bacteriology, Feb 1945, 49(2), 187–192. Madeline and Howard were married while both were in school. She became a professor of microbiology at Catholic University, Washington, DC and in 1953 was at Nazareth College, Rochester, N.Y. She was also a research associate at Merck, Sharp and Dohme, Philadelphia, during World War II. In the late 196′s she was a cancer research associate at the University of Delaware.

Madeline died Feb 2005 and is buried in Holy Hope Cemetery and Mausoleum in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona. The following is from her Findagrave entry.

“She loved her family, ice skating, horse back riding, golf in Tucson and swimming in Wildwood, New Jersey, and at Ko'alina, Oahu, HI. A wonderful, inquisitive, energetic, independent and adventurous woman, she believed in the goodness of people and in the bright prospects of a world at peace and in harmony. Madeline loved and encouraged her four children and her grandson to strive to achieve their dreams and was always there for them, no matter what. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Madeline is survived by her children, Dr. Michael Coleman, Maddalena Fiorillo and Carl Coleman, one grandson and three step-grandchildren.”

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Dr. Michael Coleman for providing information about his parents.

Article from Journal of Optical Society of American, 1956.

Howard S. Coleman

Dr. Howard S. Coleman, a 39-year old physicist who directed the development of CinemaScope lenses for the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company has been appointed manager of the research and engineering division of the Rochester, New York optical firm. He will direct the company's research and product development in motion picture optics as well as in scientific instruments, ophthalmic instruments, eyewear, and military products. Dr. Coleman is one of the youngest men in the nation to head such an extensive research and engineering group in optics. He formerly directed the Bausch & Lomb Scientific Bureau.
Howard S Coleman

A graduate of Pennsylvania State College, Dr. Coleman received his doctorate there in 1941. He has achieved national recognition as an expert in optical instrumentation and has published more than 200 articles in the fields of optics, physics, metallurgy, astronomy, chemistry, photography, and aerodynamics. He formerly taught optics and physics at The University of Texas and at Penn State. During World War II he was in charge of the research and development of optical inspection methods for the Frankford Arsenal. He has been honored by the movie industry for the role he played in the development of practical CinemaScope lenses.
Dr. Coleman has been a member of the Optical Society of America since 1945.