October 27, 1922–August 31, 2007
BY C. LORING BRACE
STANLEY MARION GARN WAS ONE of the most important figures in the field of biological anthropology in the second half of the 20th century. He is well known for his longitudinal studies of biomedical problems, as well as the relationship between nutrition and osteoporosis. He also completed key studies on family histories, hair, nutrition, odontogenesis, and obesity.
Born on October 27, 1922, in New London, Connecticut, Garn was the grandson of a rabbi. Garn grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where his father was involved in house construction. Garn retained an interest in construction for the rest of his life and although he went on to become a university professor, he kept a tool shop in his basement until the time came for him to go into assisted living. He also retained an interest in landscape and gardening for the same span of time.
Garn became interested in science early in life by reading books from the Rochambeau branch of the Providence Public Library, only three blocks from his house. He received books on home science and even some chemistry sets from his cousins. Collecting forays involved a trip with his parents to Diamond Hill, Rhode Island, so that he could gather minerals;