12 Facts About Ernst Mayr


In February 1923, Ernst Mayr passed his high school examination and his mother rewarded him with a pair of binoculars.


Ernst Mayr completed his doctorate in ornithology at the University of Berlin under Dr Carl Zimmer, who was a full professor, on 24 June 1926 at the age of 21.


At the International Zoological Congress at Budapest in 1927, Ernst Mayr was introduced by Stresemann to banker and naturalist Walter Rothschild, who asked him to undertake an expedition to New Guinea on behalf of himself and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.


Ernst Mayr moved to the United States in 1931 to take up a curatorial position at the American Museum of Natural History, where he played the important role of brokering and acquiring the Walter Rothschild collection of bird skins, which was being sold in order to pay off a blackmailer.


Ernst Mayr joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1953, where he served as director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology from 1961 to 1970.


Ernst Mayr retired in 1975 as emeritus professor of zoology, showered with honors.


Ernst Mayr died on 3 February 2005 in his retirement home in Bedford, Massachusetts, after a short illness.


Ernst Mayr had married fellow German Margarete "Gretel" Simon in May 1935, and she assisted Mayr in some of his work.


Ernst Mayr was awarded the 1946 Leidy Award from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.


Ernst Mayr was awarded the Linnean Society of London's prestigious Darwin-Wallace Medal in 1958 and the Linnaean Society of New York's inaugural Eisenmann Medal in 1983.


Ernst Mayr was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 1988.


In 2001, Ernst Mayr received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.