December 29, 1918 - May 24, 2006
For a list of Dr. Young's many research projects, see Young's Research Papers
Francis Allan Young (Jr.) was born in Utica, New York to Francis Allan Young and Julia McOwen Young. Frank received a BS in Mathematics, Physics & Economics from the University of Tampa in 1941, an MA in Psychology & Physiology from Western Reserve University in 1945, and a PhD in Psychology from Ohio State University in 1949.
He married Judith Wadsworth Wright on December 21, 1945, and in 1948 they moved to Pullman, Washington, where Frank joined Washington State University (WSU) as an instructor. He rose quickly through the ranks, achieving tenure in 1956 and becoming a full professor in 1961. Frank retired from the psychology department in December 1988, after serving the university for 40 years with one of the longest tenures as a WSU professor. His involvement with WSU continued up until the time of his death.
In 1957, Frank founded the Primate Research Center and remained its director until his retirement. In his early career, he was responsible for the bulk of extramural funds received by WSU and, thanks largely to funds he secured in a building grant from the National Institutes of Health, the university was able to construct the Comparative Behavior Laboratory and Primate Research Center in 1966. Today, this building houses Environmental Health Services and the bear facility of the Bear Research, Education & Conservation Program.
Frank used the Primate Research Center as a base to pursue his many research interests, ranging from primate vision studies in the early USA Space Program to the nongenetic causes of myopia. As one of the world's foremost myopia researchers, he developed the theory that myopia is primarily caused by environmental factors and as a result can be controlled and prevented.
Frank's highly successful research led to over 120 publications, 30 invited addresses, and three books. He was a fellow of APA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Optometry, and the New York Academy of Sciences. He was honored with the Distinguished Psychologist Award of the Washington State Psychological Association, the Paul Yarwood Memorial Award of the California Optometric Association, the Apollo Award of the American Optometric Association, and a listing in "Who's Who in the World".
Frank served as president of the Washington State Psychological Association and of APA Division 31. In addition, he was Psi Chi Western Regional Vice President from 1965-68 and National President from 1968-70. He also served as secretary-treasurer of the International Society for Myopia Research.
Frank was survived by his wife Judith (Pullman, Washington) and sons Francis Allan (Raan) Young III (Corvallis, Oregon) and Thomas Robert Young (Washington, D.C.).