In Memoriam: John Todd Zimmer

Robert Cushman Murphy, Dean Amadon
1959 The AUK: A Quarterly Journal of Ornithology  
a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union, was born at Bridgeport, Ohio, on February 28, 1889, and died at White Plains, New York, shortly before his 68th birthday, on January 6, 1957. His youth and early career as a naturalist were chiefly associated with Nebraska. He graduated from the State University at Lincoln in 1910 and received the Master's degree in the following year. At the height of his career, in 19't3, his Alma Mater conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of
more » ... f Doctor of Science. Although his first scientific specialization was in entomology, he had an early interest in ornithology as well. During his college years he made an excellent collection of Nebraska birds. This always remained in his possession and was bequeathed to the University o• Nebraska as a result of a wish expressed shortly before the end of his life. After college, Zimmer spent two years as Field Entomologist with the Nebraska Experiment Station and concurrently served as collaborator with the United States Department of Agriculture. The circumstances of his next move do not seem to be recorded, but in 1913 he went to the Philippine Islands as Assistant Superintendent of Pest Control for the Bureau of Agriculture. Four years later he transferred to Port Moresby, New Guinea, as an expert for the Papuan Department of Agricultu. re. In July 1917 Zimmer married Miss Margaret Thompson, who resided with him for several years in New Guinea, where at least one of their two children was born. Their son, Lawrence Thompson Zimmer, became a blo-physicist. The daughter, Ida Elizabeth Zimmer Sprague, majored in philosophy in her college career and is also the mother of three children. Zimmer and his wife were a notably close and congenial couple. He never fully recovered from the shock and sorrow of her death in October 19't5. It is strange that the same malady in the same locus-first diagnosed as "arthritis" of the hip--carried off wife and husband twelve years apart. Information about Zimmer's official services in the Philippines and New Guinea is surprisingly scant, but his continuing or growing interest in birds is shown by the fact that he made important personal collections in both places. On Philippine birds he published two still valuable papers. His New Guinea specimens were never the subject of a similar report by him, but they were purchased by the American
doi:10.2307/4082310 fatcat:zyl4qcfkovgmrfa46bbuut7tme