Herbert W. Franke

*14-MAY-1927 - ✝16-JUL-2022

Herbert W. Franke is a famous speleologist, author and scientist. His publications are countless. He wrote scientific papers, caving stories, adventure books, essays and noteworthy science fiction. He wrote more than 40 books, especially about art-science-connections as he is both, computer scientist and artist.

There is so much information about him on the web, including his own homepage, that we will drop only a few words. Several books by Herbert W. Franke were very popular during the second half of the 20th century. They were published in German and are more or less out of print now. But over some decades, most German-speaking speleologists learned about caves and caving from his books. This is why his influence on speleology can not be overestimated.

In recent years he developed mathematic rules and computer programs to simulate both growth and looks of speleothems, starting with the growth of stalactites and stalagmites. He also wrote several articles on caves on Mars, who were valued by both, space scientists and the broad public.

His biography is full of interesting facts and dates, his bibliography fills a book. So we give just a short tabular biography and a short list of his most famous caving related books.


14-MAY-1927 born in Wien (Vienna).
1945-1950 study of physics, mathematics, chemistry, psychology, and philosophy at the University of Vienna.
1950 Dr. phil. (Ph.D.) in optics.
1952-1957 worked on experimental Photography.
1957-1973 freelancer as author and scientist.
1973-1998 works at the University of Munich, lecturing in computer graphics and computer art.
1986 Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis.
2002 Dr.-Benno-Wolf-Preis, an award by the VdHK, the German Speleological Society for merits in speleology.
2017 Kurd-Laßwitz-Sonderpreis for many years of outstanding achievement in the field of German-language science fiction.
16-JUL-2022 died at age 95 in Egling.