Dr. Edward A. Stern, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, and founding Director of the Pacific Northwest Consortium Collaborative Access Team (PNC-CAT) at Sector 20 of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) passed away on May 17, 2016. He was 85. Dr. Stern was a world-renowned physicist best known for his contributions to the development of the x-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) technique. Stern, together with Dale Sayers and Farrel Lytle provided a correct interpretation for the origin of oscillations seen above the absorption edge in x-ray absorption spectra and developed methodologies to retrieve quantitative information on local atomic structure from these oscillations. For these developments, the trio was recognized with the prestigious Bertram E. Warren Diffraction Physics award from the American Crystallographic Association (1979). In 2011, the APS Users Organization Steering Committee awarded the Arthur H. Compton Award to Stern, Farrel Lytle, Dale Sayers (posthumously), and John Rehr to recognize the impact of XAFS at APS and synchrotron sources worldwide. XAFS probes crystalline and non‐crystalline materials alike and it has proven essential to understanding an extremely wide range of problems across all disciplines of the physical, chemical, and biological sciences. He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society and an Advisory Board Member of the Committee of Concerned Scientists.