Beebe, William

Beebe, William

(Charles William Beebe) (bē`bē), 1877–1962, American ornithologist, explorer, and author, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., B.S. Columbia, 1898. He became (1899) curator of ornithology and later (1919) director of the department of tropical research at the New York Zoological Society. A well-known scientific celebrity in his day, he made expeditions to Central and South America, Indonesia, China, and the West Indies, and in 1934 made a record ocean descent of 3,028 ft (923 m) in a bathysphere. He also was a key figure in establishing the field of ecology. Among his numerous books are Galapagos (1923), Half Mile Down (1934), and Unseen Life of New York (1953).


See biography by C. G. Gould (2004).

Beebe, (Charles) William

(1877–1962) oceanographer, ornithologist; born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was curator of ornithology for the New York Zoological Park (Bronx Zoo) (1899) and director of the N.Y. Zoological Society's Department of Tropical Research (1899–1962). Of his many books on tropical birds, he is renowned for his monographs on pheasants in Borneo. He made his record-breaking 3,028-foot descent off Bermuda with bathysphere designer Otis Barton (1934). He later abandoned deep dives as having "little scientific value," and concentrated on studying marine wildlife in shallower waters.