Franco Dino Rasetti (1901-2001) was born in Castiglione del Lago, Italy. He received his doctorate in physics from the University of Pisa, 1923, and honorary degrees from Laval University, Ph.D., 1948, and the University of Glasgow, LL.D., 1957. He came to the United States in 1947 and became a naturalized citizen in 1952. In the early 1970s he returned to Italy.
Rasetti was an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Florence, 1923-1926, and the University of Rome, 1927-1930. He then became Professor of Physics at Rome, 1931-1938; Laval University, 1939-1947; and Johns Hopkins University, 1947-1970.
In addition to his academic appointments, Rasetti was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the California Institute of Technology, 1928-1929; a fellow at Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, 1931-1932; a Research Associate at Columbia University, 1936; a Visiting Professor at the University of Miami, 1958-1959; a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, 1959; and a Consultant for the National Committee on Nuclear Research at Rome, 1959.
Although Rasetti was a nuclear physicist, his avocation was paleobiology with an emphasis on Cambrian Rockies. From 1964 to 1967, Rasetti was an Honorary Research Associate in Invertebrate Paleontology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. He was a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the Paleontological Society and received the National Academy of Science's Walcott Medal in 1952.