After receiving his doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, English joined the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory in 1942. At Met Lab, he served as a group leader until 1943.
In 1943, he moved to Clinton Laboratories in Oak Ridge, Tenessee. At Oak Ridge, he served as a section chief in the chemistry division of Clinton Laboratories at the X-10 Reactor for three years.
English was born in Mount Pleasant, Tennesee. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Oklahoma. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate. Afterward, English earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Following World War II, English returned to the University of California at Berkeley to teach chemistry. Later in 1947, English joined the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), where he worked for almost thirty years.
At the AEC, he was chief of the chemistry branch in the research division from 1947 to 1960. He served as a special assistant to the general manager for disarmament from 1959 to 1961, a deputy director of the research division from 1960 to 1961 and an assistant general manager for research and development from 1961 to 1973. Following those duties, English became Associate Director of the Division of Physical Research until he retired from the AEC in 1976.
English was an advocate for disarmament. In 1955, he served on the United States delegations to the United Nations Disarmament Conference in London. He also was a part of the U.S. delegations to the Conference for the Cessation of Nuclear Weapons Tests in Geneva in 1959.
On April 6, 1981, Spofford G. English died at the age of sixty-five in Bethesda, Maryland.
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