Bailey, Liberty Hyde

Bailey, Liberty Hyde

Bailey, Liberty Hyde, 1858–1954, American botanist and horticulturist, b. South Haven, Mich., grad. Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State Univ.), 1882. At Cornell he was professor of horticulture (1888–1903) and dean of the agricultural college and director of the agricultural experiment station (1903–13). Through numerous writings and as chairman of President Theodore Roosevelt's Commission on Country Life (1908), he worked for the improvement of rural life. Bailey was influential in establishing horticulture as a respected science. He wrote many basic works on botany and horticulture, edited The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture (6 vol., 1914–17; new ed. 1935) and Cyclopedia of American Agriculture (4 vol., 1907–9), and compiled (with E. Z. Bailey) Hortus (1930, rev. ed. 1935) and Hortus Second (1941). Hortus Third was published in 1976.


See biographies by P. Dorf (1956) and A. D. Rodgers (1949, repr. 1965).

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Bailey, Liberty Hyde (Jr.)

(1858–1954) botanist, horticulturist; born in South Haven, Mich. He assisted Asa Gray at Harvard (1882–83), became an authority on the hybridization of apples, squashes, and grasses at Michigan Agricultural College (1885–88), then taught at Cornell (1888–1913), where he developed horticulture into a science, and published the four-volume Cyclopedia of American Agriculture (1907–09), and the six-volume Cyclopedia of Horticulture (1917). He continued research on hybridization, and performed the first experiments in growing plants under continuous electric illumination. He was a dedicated teacher of both college students and New York farmers, and was considered both a naturalist and a rural sociologist. After his retirement from teaching (1913), he devoted his life to world travel, studying and collecting new plant species, and making major contributions to taxonomic research. He coined the term "cultivar" during the 1920s for a plant variant that originates under cultivation. He donated his specimen collection to the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium at Cornell, which he founded in 1935 and directed until 1952. A social philosopher who felt that knowledge of plants was one of the greatest hopes for humanity, Bailey wrote over 65 books and published hundreds of scientific papers.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.