"It is with great sadness that I write that Dr. John A. Knauss, founding Dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO), Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere in the Department of Commerce, and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1989 to 1993 died peacefully on November 19th following a period of declining health in Saunderstown, RI, where he had lived for the last 53 years. He was 90 years old at the time of his death.
As founding Dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography, he created an oceanographic institution in 1962 at the University of Rhode Island that became nationally and internationally recognized for its breadth of oceanographic and marine programs. In partnership with Senator Claiborne Pell and Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus, he was instrumental in the formulation and development of the National Sea Grant Program in 1966 that has had a major impact on marine science, policy and management in the United States. He was widely viewed as an international leader in oceanography and marine policy over a long and productive career."