Henry Fairfield Osborn (1857-1935)

Blue-blood director of the American Museum of Natural History, successful in raising funds for exhibits, expeditions, large research projects, and related institutions such as Columbia University. Osborn's extensive patronage network include New York bluebloods like the high society lawyer Madison Grant and the philanthropist Morris Jesup. A prominent orthogenetic theorist and advocate of eugenics: he wrote the preface to Grant's 1916 eugenicist tract The Passing of the Great Race, and co-ogranized the Second International Congress of Eugenics in 1921, along with Grant and Davenport. Opposed to natural selection and hostile to experimental biology and genetics until his death, feuding with T. Morgan. One of the worst taxonomists in the history of vertebrate paleontology, naming countless scores of invalid species; author of several large monographs on mammals and dinosaurs that were largely ghost-written by his cadre of employees, including Matthew and Gregory.

Osborn in 1890. From Baatz, p. 178.


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