Click here to hear Neil.Michelsen speaking.

The specter of laboriously hand-calculated astrology charts is mercifully fading from our collective memory, but were it not for the hard and meticulous work of brilliant computer programmers like Neil Michelsen, we would be permanently stuck in that era. Astrology software has given our field a tremendous leap forward in terms of mathematical accuracy and the capacity to do solid research. Neil was one of the first to create these programs, which he did in his spare time while working for IBM for 17 years.

The company he founded, Astro-Computing Services, published the first computer-generated ephemeris in 1976, setting new standards. ACS became the leading source of computerized calculations for astrology. Their important reference work, the American Atlas, replaced older, less complete time changes books. A computerized version, continually updated is now available.)

In addition to his immense technical contributions, Neil contributed substantially to our community life and to individuals within it. To name only one instance of his generosity and helpfulness, he put the resources of ACS behind the Gauquelin's work, enabling them to streamline their research, previously hand-calculated.

He played a very important role in our organizations, especially with NCGR, where he served as chairman and supported many of their projects beneficial to the astrological community as a whole. After his death, NCGR established the Neil Michelsen Memorial Fund to continue such projects. There is also a Building Fund in his name. Neil was one of the co-founders of UAC and played an important role in the formation of AFAN.

This giant of a man recieved many honors during his lifetime, including the Marc Edmund Jones award. At the Regulus awards ceremony at the United Astrology Congress1992, he was posthumously given a Lifetime Achievement Award.

BIRTH AND DEATH DATA: AstroDatabank gives the following information, rated A from him to Lois Rodden. He was born May 11, 1931, at 5:34 AM, Chicago, IL, which he specified was CST. He died of cancer on May 15, 1990, in San Diego.

To See His Chart


Along with Thomas Shanks, Rique Pottenger, and other members of the ACS staff, Neil produced more than 20 of today's most accurate sets of emphemerides and tables, including house tables, asteroids, heliocentric, sidereal, and planetary phenomena. Many of these important reference works are available at local new age books stores and on line at major chains, or they can be ordered directly from the ACS website.

With his wife, Maria K. Simms, he also wrote Search for the Christmas Star Finally, we cannot neglect to mention that he and ACS encouraged, supported, and were the publishing home for other astrologers on this memorial page, including Michel Gauquelin, Joan Negus, and Joyce Wehrman.

As a long-time member of the NCGR Board, he spoke at many of their conferences, so there are still tapes available on the NCGR website.

Tributes to Neil
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DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD? This memorial is interactive, and we welcome your memories and tributes, which we will add to the page in the order received. They may be edited for length, grammar, or suitability. If there are any additional contributions we should mention or any inaccuracies in the memorial, please bring them to our attention. We would also love to have photos to bring back vivid memories. (Photos will be scanned and returned.) To suggest names, share memories, create tributes, or volunteer, send us an e-mail.

CREDITS: Neil's photo came from his wife, Maria. Biographical information for this memorial came from AstroDatabank and The Encyclopedia of Astrology. The background is part of a collection of graphics and web design utilities at Cameo Hut. Most book covers on this site are courtesy of AstroAmerica or the publishers.