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In Memoriam


Sterling Cole, IAEA Director General from from 1957-1961


Sterling ColeMr. Sterling Cole of the United States was the first IAEA Director General. He headed the Agency during its formative years, serving from 1957 until 1961. As U.S. Congressman, he served as the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy of the U.S. Congress.

William Sterling Cole was born in Painted Post, New York, on 18 April 1904. Mr. Cole attended Colgate University, in Hamilton, New York, followed by the Albany Law School of Union University, Schenectady, New York, receiving his LL.B. in 1929. From 1925 to 1926 he taught in public schools, including the Corning Free Academy, Corning, New York. In 1929, he was admitted to the New York Bar and commenced his law practice in Bath, New York in 1930.

Mr. Cole was elected to the United States House of Representatives to the Seventy-fourth Congress and re-elected to the eleven succeeding Congresses. He served from January 1935 until his resignation in December 1957. Mr. Cole chaired the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (Eighty-third Congress) from 1953 to 1954 and acted as Congressional Advisor during the Conference on the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency (Eighty-fifth Congress). In 1957, he was appointed Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, serving until 1961.

Following his term as IAEA Director General, Mr. Cole resumed law practice in Washington, D.C, residing in Arlington, Va. until his passing in Washington, D.C. on 15 March 1987.