Bell, Alexander Graham (03/03/1847-08/02/1922)

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  • Occupation: Inventor of the telephone
  • Number of Terms: 4
  • Committees/Roles: Served on the Executive Committee and Permanent Committee. Bell brought James Smithson's body from Italy to the Smithsonian in 1904; supported created of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, donating $5,000 in 1891 to get it off the ground; supported Secretary Samuel P. Langley's research into aerodynamics and took the only photograph of the attempted flight of Langley's "aerodrome" on May 6, 1898; and he also donated significant history of technology collections. Bell regarded the first Smithsonian Secretary, physicist Joseph Henry, as a mentor due to Henry's encouragement of and advice about Bell's early research into acoustics.


  • Bell, Alexander Graham 1847-1922
  • Board of Regents
  • Citizen Regent
  • Board of Regents Executive Committee
  • Board of Regents Permanent Committee


Smithsonian Board of Regents

Regent images can be seen at

Images of this Regent can be found in the following repositories: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Cosmos Club; RU 95, Smithsonian Institution Archives

Regent type



District of Columbia

Short Legal Citation

  • 30 Stat. 733 (1898), J. Res. No. 4
  • 33 Stat. 582 (1904), J. Res. No. 5
  • 36 Stat. 874 (1910), J. Res. No. 8
  • 39 Stat. 11 (1916), ch. 30


  • American National Biography. 24 volumes. Edited by John A. Garaty and Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Six volumes. Edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1888-1889. Reprint. Detroit: Gale Research, 1968; Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Volumes I-XIV. Edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970-1976; Dictionary of American Biography. Volumes 1-20. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928-1936; Who Was Who in America. A component volume of "Who's Who in American History." Volume 1, 1897-1942. Chicago: A. N. Marquis Co., 1943.
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 1, Board of Regents, 1846--, Minutes of Meetings, 8 February 1923, pp. 573-576.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


Regent Tenure: 01/24/1898-02/20/1922


  • Inventors
  • Regents


Washington (D.C.)



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