CHARLES MADISON CANNON
Chuck Cannon died on June 7,1966 when he was hit by lightning in Rye, New York, five
days before he was to graduate from Princeton. The bolt struck Chuck as he was leaving
the Shenorock Shore Club. A companion, Janet Murkland, of Glen Cove, Maryland,
suffered bums and shock.
Born on August 18, 1943, in White Plains, New York, to Dr. and Mrs. John Cannon,
Chuck graduated from Scarsdale High School, where he was a member of the football,
wrestling, baseball, and golf teams. Chuck held offices in the Varsity Club, the Senior
Class Council, and the Yearbook Committee.
At Princeton, Chuck majored in biology and wrote a thesis for Dr. Rebaun concerned
with contractive mechanisms in Stentor polymorphos. A member of the Quadrangle Club,
Chuck rowed with the freshman lightweight crew and joined the Outing Club. He lived
in the Taj, Quadrangle’s dormitory suite in the first entry of Blair Hall, and played on a
number of lAA squads during his last two years. Chuck was one of the few men to ever
earn a 1-plus in Professor Wallis’s organic chemistry course. He earned dean’s list honors
in his sophomore and junior years. His plans upon graduation entailed fulfilling his
NROTC commitment, followed by medical school.
In honor of his memory, a 2.2-acre research pond was created in Princeton University’s
Stony Ford Center for Field Studies. His naval science professor. Colonel Thomas J.
Ahem, called the tragedy of Chuck’s death “a one-in-a-million accident for a one-in-a-million
boy—one of the finest students I’ve ever taught.”