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Henry Fairfield Osborn

1857-1935 Henry Fairfield Osborn - Photo courtesy of New York Museum of Natural History
  • Zoologist, paleontologist, eugenicist, and university professor.
  • Best known for his work at the American Museum of Natural History, 1891 - 1933. He was the first curator of the museum's Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, and later served for many years as the museum's president. He collected many fossils, and identified and named many kinds of dinosaurs. In 1918, he cofounded the Save-the-Redwoods League.
  • Muir met Osborn at his Hudson River estate Castle Rock during his 1893 visit to the East Coast when his editor and friend, Robert Underwood Johnson, introduced Muir to numerous luminaries of the day in New York. Thus began many years of friendship and correspondence with Osborn and his wife and children. In 1896, Muir and Osborn visited Alaska together (Muir's fifth trip to Alaska).
  • During Muir's 1898 East coast trip studying forests, he stayed for several days at Osborn's summer house "Wing-and-Wing," part of the Castle Rock property at Garrison-on-Hudson. In 1910, Muir took the Osborn family on a trip to Yosemite. In July of 1911, Muir spent time at Osborn's summer house "Wing-andWing" in Garrison, New York, working on editing the final proofs for The Yosemite.
  • Despite his accomplishments in paleontology, Osborn is remembered today for his racism and anti-semitism, which led him to advocate white supremacy and support research into eugenics.



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