PRAGER, RICHARD (1883–1945), German astronomer. Prager was born in Hanover. In 1908 he joined the Berlin Academy of Sciences; and in 1909 was appointed head of a department in the National Observatory in Santiago, Chile. From 1913 onward he worked as scientific collaborator, and from 1924 as observer at the Berlin University Observatory at Babelsberg. He made an important contribution to photoelectric stellar photometry, and also extended, by several volumes, the large enterprise of a complete history and bibliography of the light variations of variable stars. He was imprisoned in Potsdam by the Nazis in 1938, an experience from which he never recovered. His friends in Britain and the United States were able to free him and brought him to England and America, where he applied his talents to pure astronomy and war work for the U.S. Navy.
A. Beer, in: The Observatory, 66 (1945), 186–7; J.C. Poggendorff, Biographisch-literarisches Handwoerterbuch, 7A (1961), s.v.