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Edgar Nelson Gilbert

Edgar Nelson Gilbert Obituary
Edgar Nelson Gilbert

AGE: 89 • Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge

Edgar Nelson Gilbert, 89, died on June 15, 2013 at Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge, NJ following a fall three weeks earlier. He was born on July 25, 1923 in Woodhaven, NY, the only son of Edgar L. and Hilda M. Gilbert.

He graduated from Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn in 1940, and received a bachelor of science degree from Queen's College in 1943. He taught briefly at the University of Illinois before attending MIT where he earned his PhD in mathematics in 1948. While working for the MIT Radiation Laboratories he met Mina Young of Brookline, Massachusetts whom he married on September 11, 1948.

He worked for the Mathematics Department at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ for the next 48 years, until his retirement in 1996. He made contributions to many different fields of mathematics, including combinatorics, graph theory, probability, and optimization, publishing 85 research papers. He is perhaps best known for his work in information theory and coding, including the first discovery of a lower bound for the minimal distance of any block code. In 1974 he was elected as IEEE fellow for his contributions to information theory and for applications of probability theory and combinatory analysis to electrical engineering. Edgar lived in Whippany for 58 years before moving to Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge, NJ in 2008. He also enjoyed spending time at his summer home in Cutchogue, NY.

He is pre-deceased by his wife Mina (2000) and daughter Ann Gilbert Ortiz (2013). He is survived by his son Edgar Y. Gilbert, daughter-in-law Carol Richards Gilbert, son Peter L. Gilbert, son-in-law Vincent Ortiz, grandchildren Michael Ortiz, Elizabeth Gilbert, Katherine Gilbert, Nicholas Ortiz, Margaret Gilbert Leahey, Daniel Ortiz and companion Betsey Lewis. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Fellowship Village Legacy Endowment Fund, 8000 Fellowship Rd., Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.Visitation will be on Sunday, June 23 at Dangler Funeral Home, 600 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, NJ from 1:00-2:00 pm. A service will immediately follow. Burial will be private.

Published in Daily Record on June 21, 2013
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