Rachel Carson

Lived:May 27, 1907—April 14, 1964 (aged 56)
Career:Marine Biologist, Environmentalist, Author
Education:Pennsylvania College for Women
M.A., Johns Hopkins University

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist, environmentalist and author who demonstrated to the world the impacts of using fertilizers and pesticides on the environment.

Carson was born on May 27, 1907, in Springdale, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham University) in 1929, studied at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and received her M.A. in zoology from Johns Hopkins University in 1932. She was hired by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries to write radio scripts during the Depression and supplemented her income writing feature articles on natural history for the Baltimore Sun. She began a 15-year career in the federal service as a scientist and editor in 1936 and rose to become editor-in-chief of all publications for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

During the 1950s, Carson conducted research into the effects of pesticides on the food chain, which led to her publishing her most influential work, "Silent Spring" (1962), which condemned the indiscriminate use of pesticides and led to a presidential commission that helped shape a growing environmental consciousness. Testifying before Congress in 1963, Carson called for new policies to protect human health and the environment. Through her dedication to the environment, Carson became an advocate and driving force behind the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.

Carson died on April 14, 1964.