Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Heilprin, Angelo (United States 1853-1907)
natural history, exploration

Heilprin's family (including Michael Heilprin, a noted writer and critic) emigrated to the United States when he was a small child, but in the late 1870s he temporarily returned to Europe to pursue university studies. On returning to the U. S. in 1879 he took up the first of several museum and university positions he would hold over the second half of his life, but his reputation was made primarily as an explorer and writer. As a traveling naturalist he involved himself in several very high profile expeditions (including heading the Peary relief expedition to Greenland in 1892) and studied the geology and zoology of the areas he visited, later writing about his adventures and discoveries in a series of successful books, and many shorter papers. He was also a talented painter, photographer (he famously photographed the Mt. Pelée eruption of 1902), illustrator, and even an inventor of some note.

Life Chronology

--born in Sátoralja-Ujhely, Hungary, on 31 March 1853.
--1856: the Heilprin family moves to the U. S.
--c1873-1876: writes articles for the New American Cyclopaedia (edited by his father)
--1876: enrolls in the Royal School of Mines, London (later studies in Paris, Geneva, Florence, and Vienna)
--1879: returns to the U. S.
--1880-1900: professor of invertebrate paleontology and geology, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
--1883-1892: executive curator, ANSP
--1885-1890: professor of geology, Wagner Free Institute of Science, Philadelphia
--1886: explores portions of Florida
--1887: publishes his The Geographical and Geological Distribution of Animals
--1888: travels in Mexico; publishes his The Geological Evidences of Evolution
--1889: investigates the geology of Bermuda
--1891: founder and first president, Geographical Society of Philadelphia
--1892: leader of the Peary relief expedition
--1896: travels in North Africa
--1897: receives the Edward Longstreth Medal of the Franklin Institute for a railcar-related patent
--1898: visits Alaska and the Klondike
--1902: photographs the eruption of Mt. Pelée, Martinique
--1902-1903: co-founder and first vice-president, the American Alpine Club
--1903: publishes his Mont Pelée and the Tragedy of Martinique
--1904: made lecturer at the Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University
--1905: chief editor, Lippincott's Pronouncing Gazetteer
--1906: visits the Orinoco River region
--dies in New York City, on 17 July 1907.

For Additional Information, See:

--American National Biography, Vol. 10 (1999).
--National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 12 (1904).
--Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 20 (1909): 527-536.
--Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. 164 (1907): 313-326.
--Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, Vol. 39 (1907): 666-668.
--Michael Heilprin and His Sons: A Biography (1912).

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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