Harry Dornbrand

November 10, 1922 ~ May 8, 2022 (age 99)


Harry Dornbrand, beloved husband of Mildred F. Dornbrand, passed away peacefully at home on May 8, 2022, at the age of 99 ½.  Harry was a leading figure in the development of satellite technologies. He served as president of Fairchild Industries Space and Electronics division, vice president of Fairchild Industries (the parent corporation), and president of American Satellite Corporation, a Fairchild subsidiary.  The technologies and projects he managed for Fairchild and NASA in the 1960s and 1970s were critical to the advancement of satellite technology worldwide and pioneered new applications like satellite television broadcasting and orbital scientific experimentation. In 1974 Harry was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal for his success in managing the ATS-6 satellite program.  The Harry Dornbrand Wikipedia page provides additional insight on Harry’s life and accomplishments.  (

Harry grew up in Brooklyn, New York, the son of a poor Jewish Austrian immigrant who worked seasonally on a garment factory assembly line.  Harry made his way out of poverty through sheer determination and pluck, managing a New York Times distribution network on the campus of City College of New York while earning a bachelor’s degree there in mechanical engineering. He served in the Navy during WWII conducting research at Moffett Field Naval Air Station in California; and then, while beginning his aerospace career at Republic Aviation on Long Island, he earned a masters in thermodynamics from Columbia University.  Harry met Mildred F. Bernstein on a blind date; they married in 1949 and celebrated their 73rd anniversary happily together in February of this year.  Harry loved his family, golf, baseball (the Nats), playing the stock market, and conversation. Always curious, he loved learning about others and their interests.  Harry was one of those special people with a true zest for life; he enjoyed socializing, he laughed a lot, and he often mentioned how lucky and grateful he was for the life he had had the privilege to live.  He will be much missed by his beloved wife, Mildred; his children, Phyllis, Faith, and Carol Lynn; his virtual son-in-law, Larry; his grandchildren, Derek, Conrad, Nathan, and Kyle; his great-grandchildren, Harrison, Isabel, Hazel and Grace; and by his friends and acquaintances at Lakewood Country Club and at Ingleside in Rockville, Maryland.   

A celebration of Harry’s life will take place later this year, organized by his family.  Please feel free to post memories and condolences here.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.  We thank you. 


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