HUNTER, JOSEPH L. (16 May 1913 - 23 Aug. 1996) was an internationally recognized acoustics expert who became a leader in the field of supersonic research in 1938. He was born in New York to Francis and Helen N. (Higgens) Hunter. He earned his BS from Manhattan College in 1934, and his MS (1936) and Ph.D. (1940) in physics from Catholic University of America.
In 1940 he joined the faculty of JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY where he initiated the school's electronics program as well as its first research program in acoustics. During World War II, he took a leave of absence from the university to work as a radar engineer at the Army Signal Corps laboratory in Belmar, N.J., from 1942 to 1944. He then joined the technical staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York from 1944 to 1946. He returned to John Carroll in 1946 where he became full professor.
During the 1950s, Hunter acted as chairman of the Cleveland chapter of the Institute of Radio Engineers [IRE], and authored an upper level textbook on sound and acoustical engineering, entitled Acoustics (Prentice-Hall, 1957). He also served as an acoustical consultant, redesigning the acoustical architecture of Cleveland Public Hall in the early 1950s, and helping to draft noise ordinances for local municipalities. Hunter presented papers on his research at international conferences, and taught at the University of Rome during the academic year 1967-68 on a Fulbright Hayes Fellowship in science. John Carroll awarded him the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1969 for his contributions to civic and community affairs as well as to learning. He was considered a particularly gifted teacher, able to "cut to the core of a very difficult problem in an ingenious way that made the solution understandable to students," according to a former student who later became a colleague. The Office of Naval Research supported Hunter's work from 1958 to 1978, and he was known throughout the world for his acoustics research using high-frequency sound propogation to study molecular reactions in liquid. Hunter was a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and of the American Physical Society.
He retired from teaching in 1978, after which he devoted much of his time and financial resources to help those suffering from mental illness. He served as a trustee of the North East Ohio Health Services in UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS and BEACHWOOD, and provided consulting help in finance and fund raising for the organization. He was also a member of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill. He married Ann Clarke in 1941[?] and they had seven children: Jane Ann, Joseph Lawrence, Eileen Marie, Mary Christine, Robert Christopher, James Francis, and Ann Regina. Mr. Hunter died of congestive heart failure at Meridia EUCLID HOSPITAL. He is buried in All Souls Cemetery.