Sam C. Saunders, the son of Elizabeth Cundiff and Winston E. Saunders, was born in Richland, OR, on February 24, 1931. The family moved to La Grande, OR, in 1944, where Sam completed high school and two years at Eastern Oregon College. He then received the BSc degree in Mathematics from the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, in 1952, and he attended the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, receiving a PhD degree under Z. W. Birnbaum. After graduating, he accepted employment at the Boeing Company in its Mathematical Services Unit and, in 1972, a position as a Full Professor at Washington State University, Pullman, WA, from which he retired in 1996.
- Birnbaum-Saunders distribution
- cumulative damage models
- fatigue-life distribution
- history of statistics