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Beebe, William (29 July 1877–04 June 1962), naturalist, oceanographer, and zoological society executive, was born Charles William Beebe in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Charles Beebe, the owner of a paper company, and Henrietta Marie Younglove. In the late 1880s the family moved to the first of a succession of addresses in East Orange, New Jersey. Beebe, an active boy, early developed an interest in natural history, fostered in part by family travels to New England and eastern Canada. He learned to identify many kinds of wildlife, particularly birds. Young Charles (he dropped his first name in high school and was known ever after as William) entered East Orange High School in 1891 and spent five years there, taking, in addition to the regular course, six additional semester-long classes in the sciences. Once Beebe had determined on a career in natural history, his mother, a woman very ambitious for her son, made a point of seeing to it that he met most of the major natural scientists in New York City. Beebe attended Columbia University for several years (1896–1899), completing a series of courses in biology, zoology, and related subjects, but he did not receive a degree. Beebe later received two honorary doctorates of science, one from Tufts College, the other from Colgate University, both in 1928....

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Hubbs, Carl Leavitt (18 October 1894–30 June 1979), ichthyologist and naturalist, was born in Williams, Arizona. His father, Charles Leavitt Hubbs, who worked as a farmer, a merchant, and a newspaper editor in various western states, was doing placer mining at the time of Hubbs’s birth. Carl’s mother, Elizabeth Goss (Johnson, by way of a brief marriage), was at times a teacher of art. The family settled in San Diego, California, in 1896 until the parents divorced in 1907. Carl then lived with his mother and later also with his stepfather, Frank Newton, in various places in California, graduating from high school in Los Angeles. Carl developed an early interest in natural history, collecting seashells and identifying birds. He later recalled that in high school he had “plunged into nature study with a vengeance.” A teacher in Los Angeles introduced him to the fishes of nearby streams and urged him to attend Stanford University, then the nation’s center of ichthyology. His primary mentor there was Charles Henry Gilbert, who assigned the young man as curator of the university’s large collection of preserved fishes. Also while a student, Hubbs accompanied Stanford zoology professor John Otterbein Snyder on a summer trip in 1915 to the Bonneville Basin in Utah, which led to a lifelong interest in the isolated fishes of the Great Basin. Hubbs had a great admiration for ...