Fairchild, David Grandison

Fairchild, David Grandison,

1869–1954, American botanist and agricultural explorer, b. East Lansing, Mich. He entered the service of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, where he organized (1895) and later (1906–28) was in charge of a division of plant exploration and introduction. He had charge also of the foreign research expeditions, in many of which he participated. With colleagues Barbour Lathrop and Wallace Swingle, Fairchild introduced into the American diet or improved the soybean, zucchini, avocado, nectarine, kale, Meyer lemon, seedless grape, watermelon, and other food crops. Fairchild wrote Exploring for Plants, 1925–27 (1930) and The World Grows round My Door (1947).


See D. Stone, The Food Explorer (2018).

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Fairchild, David Grandison

(1869–1954) botanist, agricultural explorer; born in Lansing, Mich. After studies in Italy and Germany he embarked on travels all over the globe, usually under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Smithsonian Institution. He introduced more than 20,000 species of plants into the U.S.A., including the soybean (1898), the nectarine (1902), and bamboos (1903). He established the Fairchild Tropical Garden near Miami, Fla., and described his gardens in The World Grows Round My Door (1947).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.