Jolly, W(illiam) P(ercy) 1922-2003

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JOLLY, W(illiam) P(ercy) 1922-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born December 2, 1922, in Plymouth, England; died March 28, 2003. Engineer, educator, and author. Jolly was an electrical engineer who also wrote several well-received biographies. He studied at Plymouth College before leaving school for a time to be a dockyard worker and Civil Service clerk. He then returned to school, attending Exeter College until the beginning of World War II. He joined the Royal Navy and became a Special Branch radar officer. When the war was over, he was able to return to Exeter, where he earned a B.Sc. in physics in 1949. Jolly then embarked on a teaching career, first at the now-defunct Royal Naval College, where he was a lecturer and then professor of physics and electrical engineering until 1969, and then at King's College, London, where he spent the next twenty years as a visiting professor of electronics and electrical engineering. His early writings, such as Physics for Electrical Engineers (1961; second edition, 1970) and Low Noise Electronics (1967), concerned his area of study. His work Marconi: A Biography (1972) was therefore not a surprising stretch. His next biography, Sir Oliver Lodge: Psychical Researcher and Scientist (1974), is about the radio inventor's predecessor. Jolly also wrote a biography about industrialist William Hesketh Lever and a popular book about a famous zoo pachyderm, Jumbo (1976). Later, he wrote business books, but the last project he was working on at the time of his death was a fictionalized story about Queen Henrietta Maria's court dwarf, Sir Jeffrey Hudson. Besides his published work, Jolly was also notable for being the cofounder of a software company that designed an educational virtual physics laboratory.



Writers Directory, 12th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


Times (London, England), May 16, 2003, p. 43.