Ripley II, S. Dillon

Smithsonian Secretary accepts an invitation to attend a pre-1981 Inaugural reception for VP-elect Bush

Price: $20.00

Description:
(1913- 2001) American ornithologist and wildlife conservationist, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1964-84, leading the Institution through its period of greatest growth and expansion. For his leadership at the Smithsonian he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985. He decided that birds were more interesting than law, and he began studying zoology at Columbia University. Ripley participated in the 1937-38 Denison-Crockett Expedition to New Guinea and the 1939 Vanderbilt Expedition to Sumatra. He joined the American Ornithologists' Union in 1938, became an Elective Member in 1942, and a fellow in 1951. He obtained a Ph.D. in zoology from Harvard University in 1943. During WW II, he served in the Office of Strategic Services, predecessor of the CIA, and was in charge of US intelligence services in SE Asia. The government of Thailand gave him a national award for his support of the Thai underground during the war. After the war he taught at Yale, was a Fulbright fellow in 1950 and a Guggenheim fellow in 1954. He became a full professor and director of the Peabody Museum of Natural History. He served for many years on the board of the World Wildlife Fund in the U.S., and was 3rd president of the International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP, now BirdLife International). As Smithsonian Secretary, he set out to reinvigorate and expand the Smithsonian, building new museums, including: the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum (now the Anacostia Community Museum); Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Renwick Gallery; National Air and Space Museum; National Museum of African Art; Enid A. Haupt Garden; the underground quadrangle complex known as the S. Dillon Ripley Center; and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. In 1967, he helped found the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and in 1970, helped found Smithsonian magazine. Ripley had intended to produce a definitive guide to the birds of South Asia, but became too ill to play an active part in its realization. However, the eventual authors named the final two-volume guide as Birds of South Asia/The Ripley Guide in his honor. TLS on 10 ˝ x 8 engraved Smithsonian Institution letterhead with vignette of the Smithsonian “castle”, Washington, January 14 1981, to the Director of the Vice President-Elect Bush Reception, 1981 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Ripley is pleased to accept his and his wife’s invitation to attend the January 19 reception for VP-Elect (George H. W.) Bush at the National Museum of American History, and will greet the party on their arrival at the Tunnel entrance, penning “as we have in the past, of course.”

Condition: Very good, 2 inked initials crossed thru by check marks at top right corner
Type:Letter






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