John L. Kelley

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John Leroy Kelley (December 6, 1916, Kansas – November 26, 1999, Oakland, California) was an American mathematician at University of California, Berkeley who worked in general topology and functional analysis.

Kelley's 1955 text, General Topology, which eventually appeared in three editions and several translations, is a classic and widely cited graduate level introduction to topology. An appendix sets out a new approach to axiomatic set theory, now called Morse–Kelley set theory, that builds on Von Neumann–Bernays–Gödel set theory.

After earning B.A. (1936) and M.A. (1937) degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, he went to the University of Virginia, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1940. Gordon Whyburn, a student of Robert Lee Moore, supervised his thesis, titled A study of hyperspaces. He taught at the University of Notre Dame until the outbreak of World War II. From 1942 to 1945, he did mathematics for the war effort at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, where his work unit included his future Berkeley colleagues Anthony Morse and Charles Morrey. After teaching at the University of Chicago, 1946-47, Kelley spent the rest of his career at Berkeley, from which he retired in 1985. He chaired the Mathematics Department at Berkeley 1957-60 and 1975-80. He held visiting appointments at Cambridge University and the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India.

In 1950, Kelley was one of 29 tenured Berkeley faculty (3 of whom were members of the Mathematics...
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