Leslie C. Edie

ORSA President, 1972


Leslie (Les) Edie was the 21st President of ORSA. In 1954 he was the first person to be awarded the Lanchester Prize for his study of toll gates on the Lincoln Tunnel that connects New York and New Jersey. He found that the maximal number of gates was 3 (later dubbed Edie’s Number) because, above 3 the number of toll gates causes motorist confusion.

Edie worked for Western Union until 1946 and then International Telephone and Telegraph (1946-52) before joining the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from where he retired in 1976. After retirement he worked as a volunteer with the Council on Productivity of the Florida Department of Transportation and for the Arthritic Research Institute of America where he helped develop a methodology for current weight standards and body mass indices.

He was a founding member of the ORSA Transportation Science Section (now Transportation Science and Logistics Section) and its second Chairman. This section became the model for all other ORSA and INFORMS sections created in later years. He was part of the team that created Transportation Science, ORSA’s first topical journal. He served on ORSA Council for a number of years before becoming President.

Les Edie died in 1990. In an obituary in Transportation Science, Denos Gazis and Bob Herman remember him as “not only a creative colleague but also a man who never expressed hostility against another human being”.

BS(EE), 1936, Kansas

Leslie C. Edie's Awards