Announcing the loss of Profesor Henry McKean

April 24, 2024

Dear Members of the Courant Community,

It is with profound sadness that we inform you of the passing of our esteemed friend and colleague, Henry McKean, last Saturday April 20th.

Henry’s departure leaves a void that will be deeply felt throughout the mathematics community. His contributions to mathematics were groundbreaking, leaving a lasting impact on various domains within the field, as well as other fields.

Aside from his scholarly achievements, Henry had a profound love for literature, nature, and travel. He was an avid reader and had a deep appreciation for the written word. Additionally, his passion for the theater added another dimension to his rich and multifaceted life.

Within the Courant community, Henry will be remembered not only for his exceptional contributions to mathematics but also for his mentorship of students, postdocs, and young faculty members. His acts of kindness extended beyond the boundaries of the Courant Institute, touching the lives of many. During his tenure, Henry received numerous honors and awards. His dedicated and no nonsense leadership as the director of Courant during the 1980s further exemplified his commitment to the institute and its mission.

We are currently organizing a memorial to celebrate and honor Henry’s enduring legacy. Further details will be shared with you in due course. In addition, we have reached out to the McKean family to extend our heartfelt condolences on behalf of the entire Courant community.


Russel Caflish, Director and Professor of Mathematics

Jalal Shatah, Silver Professor of Mathematics