Pinchot, Gifford(pĭn`shō), 1865–1946, American forester and public official, b. Simsbury, Conn. He studied forestry in Europe and then undertook (1892) systematic work in forestry at the Vanderbilt estate in North Carolina. He became (1896) a member of the National Forest Commission and served (1898–1910) in the division of forestry, which in the period of his service became a bureau and then the Forest Service. He was dismissed (1910) by President Taft because he publicly criticized Secretary of Interior Richard A. BallingerBallinger, Richard Achilles
, 1858–1922, U.S. Secretary of the Interior (1909–11), b. Boonesboro (now in Boone), Iowa. He was mayor of Seattle (1904–6) and commissioner of the General Land Office (1907–9); in 1909, Taft appointed him Secretary of the
..... Click the link for more information. 's administration of coal lands in Alaska. Pinchot's dismissal helped widen the rift in the Republican party and the estrangement between President Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. In 1912, Pinchot joined Roosevelt in forming the Progressive partyProgressive party,
in U.S. history, the name of three political organizations, active, respectively, in the presidential elections of 1912, 1924, and 1948. Election of 1912
..... Click the link for more information. . After he helped found the Yale school of forestry, Pinchot was (1903–36) professor there while serving on numerous conservation commissions. He was twice (1923–27, 1931–35) governor of Pennsylvania. In his first term Pinchot directed the reorganization of the state government. He wrote many books on forestry and timber; his autobiography, Breaking New Ground (1947), sums up many years of his study of conservation.
See biographies by M. N. McGeary (1960) and M. L. Fausold (1961, repr. 1973); studies by J. L. Penick (1968) and H. T. Pinkett (1970).
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Pinchot, Gifford(1865–1946) forester, conservationist, public official; born in Simsbury, Conn. The son of a well-to-do merchant, raised in a cosmopolitan atmosphere, he studied forestry in France after graduating from Yale in 1889. In 1896, as a member of the National Forest Commission, he helped prepare a conservation plan for government woodlands. Two years later he became chief of the U.S. Agriculture Department's Division of Forestry, but was fired in 1910 in a dispute with his superior, a foe of conservation; this break with President William Taft's administration was among the chief causes for Pinchot's old friend Theodore Roosevelt's leaving the Republican Party, and in 1912 Pinchot helped form the Progressive Party that nominated Roosevelt for president. A nonresident member of the faculty at Yale's School of Forestry (1903–36), founded with a grant from his father, he was free to enter politics and served two terms as a reform governor of Pennsylvania (Rep., 1922–26, 1931–35). His autobiography, Breaking New Ground, appeared the year after his death.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.