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Albright, Horace Marden (06 January 1890–28 March 1987), park service director, was born in Bishop, California, the son of George Albright, a mining engineer, and Mary Marden. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1912 with a B.A. in economics. While a law student at Berkeley, Albright worked as a reader for Professor Adolph C. Miller. In 1913, when Secretary of the Interior ...

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Bass, Robert Perkins (11 September 1873–29 July 1960), governor of New Hampshire, conservationist, and labor relations adviser, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Perkins Bass, a lawyer, and Clara Foster. Bass’s interest in politics was likely influenced by his father, who served as ...

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Commoner, Barry (28 May 1917–30 September 2012), scientist-activist, biologist, and environmentalist, was born Barry Commoner in Brooklyn, New York, to Isaac (Isador) and Gussie Commoner, Russian immigrants. His uncle, the Slavonic scholar Avrahm Yarmolinsky, recommended the family adopt a more anglicized spelling of their last name. Commoner attended Brooklyn’s James Madison High School, where he discovered his passion for biology. Assisted by his wife, the poet ...

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William O. Douglas. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103906).

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Douglas, William O. (16 October 1898–19 January 1980), U.S. Supreme Court justice, New Deal administrator, and environmentalist, was born William Orville Douglas in Maine, Minnesota, near the North Dakota border, the son of Julia Fisk and William Douglas, a Presbyterian minister. The family moved to southern California in 1901 and then to eastern Washington, near Yakima, a year later....

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Gabrielson, Ira Noel (27 September 1889–07 September 1977), wildlife biologist and first director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was born in Sioux Rapids, Iowa, the son of Frank August Gabrielson, a partner in a hardware store and later a farmer, and Ida Jansen. During a boyhood spent hunting, fishing, and exploring the countryside, Gabrielson developed a love of nature, photographed and studied birds, and became particularly interested in waterfowl. He graduated from Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa, with a B.A. in biology in 1912 and spent the next three years teaching high school biology in Marshalltown, Iowa. Just as he was about to enter the University of Iowa on a graduate fellowship, he was offered and accepted a position he had coveted with the Bureau of Biological Survey....

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George P. Marsh. Photograph from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-BH8201-4981).

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Marsh, George Perkins (15 March 1801–23 July 1882), scholar, politician, and diplomat, was born in Woodstock, Vermont, the son of Charles Marsh, a prominent lawyer, and Susan Perkins. The Marshes were among New England’s aristocracy of Puritan intellectuals. Woodstock, unlike western Vermont of the free-spirited Green Mountain Boys, was a town of law-abiding, substantial settlers, conservative in religion and politics. George, in a milieu of book lovers, became an avid reader, although a lifelong eye ailment periodically forced him to turn from the printed page to the outdoor world. As a child, with his father or friends, he observed firsthand the effects of deforestation in early Vermont settlements, the decline of fish in the rivers, and the destruction of precious topsoil....

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McFarland, J. Horace (24 September 1859–02 October 1948), printer, civic reformer, and rosarian, was born John Horace McFarland in McAlisterville, Pennsylvania, the son of George Fisher McFarland, a schoolteacher, and Adeline Dellicher Griesemer. Following the Civil War, the family moved to Harrisburg, where Horace’s father bought and operated the Riverside Nurseries, a large property along the Susquehanna River. When he was sixteen, McFarland started setting type for the ...

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Gifford Pinchot Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-3906).

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Pinchot, Gifford (11 August 1865–04 October 1946), forester, conservationist, and governor of Pennsylvania, was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, the son of James Wallace Pinchot, a wealthy merchant, and Mary Jane Eno. Proud of his French ancestry, James W. Pinchot raised his family in a primly decorous but brilliant social environment steeped in French culture....

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John Phillips Saylor. Courtesy of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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Saylor, John Phillips (23 July 1908–28 October 1973), conservationist, was born on a farm near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the son of Tillman Saylor, an attorney, and Minerva Phillips Saylor, a former schoolteacher. After graduating from Johnstown High School at age sixteen Saylor attended Mercersburg Academy in south central Pennsylvania, a college preparatory school for boys. He struggled academically but nonetheless was accepted at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After graduating in 1928, he went on to law school at the University of Michigan but left that program to attend Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, from 1930 to 1933. On graduation, he joined his father's law firm and in 1937 married Johnstown schoolteacher Grace Doerstler. They had two children. In 1942 Saylor joined the navy. He served as a communications officer aboard the U.S.S. ...

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Mo Udall. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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Udall, Morris K. (15 June 1922–12 December 1998), congressman, environmental leader, and presidential candidate, nicknamed "Mo", congressman, environmental leader, and presidential candidate, nicknamed “Mo,” was born Morris King Udall in St. Johns, Arizona, the son of Levi S. Udall, a Mormon leader and later chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, and Louise Lee Udall. He was the fourth of six children. At age six, he lost his right eye while playing with a knife. His handicap proved to be hardly an obstacle as he became a star athlete, editor of the school paper, and student body president. Udall attended the University of Arizona in Tucson from 1941 to 1942 but left to enter the U.S. Army in World War II, rising to captain in the Army Air Forces. He commanded an all-black squadron while based in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Returning to the university in 1946, he pursued a law degree and earned honors as an all-Border Conference basketball player. He played professional basketball for the Denver Nuggets in the 1947–1948 season. In 1949 he married Patricia J. Emery; they would have six children and divorce in 1966....

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Udall, Stewart Lee (31 January 1920–20 March 2010), member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Secretary of the Interior, was born in St. Johns, Arizona, a town his Mormon forebears helped to settle. One of six children, he grew up in middle-class comfort. His father, Levi Stewart Udall, a lawyer and Arizona State Supreme Court justice, stressed the importance of public service. His mother, Louise Lee Udall, instilled in him a love for music and poetry. His commitment to earth stewardship derived in part from his upbringing in the open country of northeastern Arizona....