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W. R. Alford
Born July 21, 1937 (1937-07-21)
Canton, Mississippi
Died May 29, 2003 (2003-05-30) (aged 65)
Occupation Mathematician

William Robert "Red" Alford (July 21, 1937 – May 29, 2003) was an American mathematician who worked in the field of number theory.


Born in Canton, Mississippi, he was a United States Air Force veteran. He earned his Bachelor of Science in mathematics and physics from The Citadel (1959), his Ph.D in mathematics from Tulane University (1963),[1] and his J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law (1976) in Athens, Georgia. After earning his J.D. he practiced law in Athens, before returning to the mathematics faculty. He retired in 2002. He died at 65, after suffering from a brain tumor.[2]

With Carl Pomerance and Andrew Granville, he proved the infinitude of Carmichael numbers in 1994[3] based on a conjecture given by Paul Erdős.


  1. W at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. "William R. (Red) Alford". Number Theory Web. Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  3. W. R. Alford, A. Granville, and C. Pomerance. "There are Infinitely Many Carmichael Numbers." (PostScript) Annals of Mathematics 139 (1994) 703-722.

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