William J. Kaufman III was author of the first four editions of Universe. Born in New York City on December 27, 1942, he often visited the magnificent Hayden Planetarium as he was growing up. Dr. Kaufmann earned his bachelor's degree magna cum laude in physics from Adelphi University in 1963, a master's degree in physics from Rutgers in 1965, and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Indiana University in 1968. At 27 he became the youngest director of any major planetarium in the United States when he took the helm of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. During his career he also held positions at San Diego State University, UCLA, Caltech, and the University of Illinois. Throughout his professional life as a scientist and educator, Dr. Kaufmann worked to bridge the gap between the scientific community and the general public to help the public share in the advances of astronomy. A prolific author, his many books include Black Holes and Warped Spacetime, Relativity and Cosmology, The Cosmic Frontiers of General Relativity, Exploration of the Solar System, Planets and Moons, Stars and Nebulas, Galaxies and Quasars, and Supercomputing and the Transformation of Science. Dr. Kaufmann died in 1994.