The National Mining Hall of Fame lost two of its living members during the past month. Frank F. Aplan passed away on November 3 at Elmcroft of Berwick, Pennsylvania. Robert E. Murray died on October 25 at his home in St. Clairsville, Ohio. A third inductee passed away earlier this year. J. David Lowell died at his home in Tucson, Arizona on May 3.
Frank Aplan was the 228th inductee into the National Mining Hall of Fame in 2015. Born in Boulder, Colorado on August 11, 1923, Aplan had a long career at The Pennsylvania State University, beginning in 1968. He was Professor, Head of the Department of Mineral Preparation, Section Chair for Metallurgy and Mineral Processing, and Distinguisehed Professor. He retired in 1992.
Robert Murray, inductee number 243, entered the National Mining Hall of Fame in 2018. He was born on January 13, 1940 in Martins Ferry, Ohio. After graduating from college, Murray joined North American Coal in 1962 and rose to chief executive by 1987. He then founded Ohio Valley Resources, which evolved into Murray Energy, the nation's largest privately owned coal producer. The company declared bankruptcy in 2019 and emerged as American Consolidated Natural Resources, with Murray at the helm. He resigned from the company five days before he died.
J. David Lowell entered the National Mining Hall of Fame in 2012 as inductee number 216. Born near Nogles, Arizona on February 28, 1928, Lowell decided as a child to become a mining engineer and eventually was considered one of the mining industry's most successful entrepreneurs. He discovered the world's largest copper deposit, Escondida in Chile, and discovered or was involved in the discovery of 16 other major mineral deposits throughout South America and Arizona. He continued his exploration activities until the day he died.