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David G. Fairchild

AKA David Grandison Fairchild

Born: 7-Apr-1869
Birthplace: Lansing, MI
Died: 6-Aug-1954
Location of death: Coconut Grove, FL
Cause of death: Heart Failure

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Botanist, Explorer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Brought exotic plants to America

David Fairchild worked in the US Agriculture Department, but rarely worked at the Department. Instead he was sent to Java, Europe, Australia and the South Pacific, to find, research, and catalog plant life. Among the numerous species he introduced to the U.S. are avocados, bamboo, the flowering cherry tree now famous in Washington DC, horseradish, East Indian mangoes, nectarines, papaya, pistachios, and Chinese soybeans. Even in retirement he continued leading expeditions to distant corners of the globe, including his last expedition to Central America when he was 75 years old.

He was a driving force behind the establishment of Everglades National Park in Florida, and he is the namesake of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, FL, which includes over 200,000 specimens collected on his journeys. Fairchild's father, George Fairchild, was President of Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University); his uncle, James Fairchild, was President of Oberlin College; another uncle, Edward Fairchild, was President of Berea College; and his nephew, Charles Fairchild, was President of Rollins College. His father-in-law was Alexander Graham Bell, and his grandfather, Grandison Fairchild, was a founder of Oberlin College.

Father: George Thompson Fairchild (college president)
Mother: Charoltte Pearly Halsted Fairchild
Sister: Agnes Mary Fairchild Kirshner
Brother: Edwin Milton Fairchild (Unitarian minister, b. 1865, d. 1939)
Brother: Paul Halsted Fairchild (physician, b. 1867)
Sister: Anna Dalla Fairchild White
Wife: Marian Hubbard Bell Fairchild ("Daisy", daughter of Alexander Graham Bell, b. 1880, d. 1962)
Son: Alexander Graham Bell Fairchild (tropical entomologist, b. 1906, d. 1994)
Daughter: Barbara Lathrop Fairchild (b. 1909, d. 1998)
Daughter: Nancy Bell Fairchild Bates (author, married zoologist Marston Bates, b. 1912, d. 1976)

    University: BA Agriculture, Kansas State University (1888)
    University: MS Agriculture, Kansas State University (1889)
    University: University of Iowa (dropped out)
    University: Rutgers University (dropped out)

    US Agriculture Department Botanist (1889-1903)
    US Agriculture Department Director of Plant Pathology (1903-28)

Author of books:
Exploring for Plants (1930)
The World Was My Garden (1938, memoirs)
Garden Islands of the Great East (1944)
The World Grows 'Round My Door (1947)

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