On This Day

Alfred Wegener

Meteorologist, Geologist, Astronomist Alfred Wegener

Full Name: Alfred Lothar Wegener
Profession: Meteorologist, Geologist, Astronomist


Why Famous: An accomplished meteorologist and pioneer of polar research, he is most famous for developing and publicizing the theory of continental drift. Wegener showed that the continents had split apart and drifted away from one another over geological time.

He published his theory in full in his book "The origin of continents and Oceans" in 1915 (first presented in 1912).

Wegener died while on an expedition to Greenland in the first week of November 1930. His body was discovered the following year in May 1931.

Born: November 1, 1880
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Star Sign: Scorpio

Died: November 3, 1930 (aged 50)
Cause of Death: Heart attack or from carbon monoxide asphyxiation from his stove while on an expedition in Greenland.

Events in the Life of Alfred Wegener

  • 1912-01-06 Alfred Wegener, geophysicist and meteorologist, presents his controversial theory of continental drift in a lecture at a the Geological Association (Geologischen Vereinigung) at the Senckenberg-Museum, Frankfurt.

Famous Germans