Tim Samaras, 1957–2013

The engineer died doing what he loved: collecting tornado data

By Janet Raloff, 11:44 AM June 14, 2013

As a child, Tim Samaras frustrated his parents by sneaking kitchen appliances into his bedroom to dismantle them. One day his mother had to coax him to come watch a movie musical with her. It was The Wizard of Oz, and the 9-year-old sat transfixed throughout the tornado scene. As he recalled last year, his only thought was: “I’ve got to take that apart!” For much of the last two decades, the tornado chaser tried to do just that (SN: 7/28/12, p. 32).

On May 31, Samaras, 55, died along with his ...

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