March 15, 1858-December 25, 1954
BY HARLAN P. BANKS
ON NOVEMBER 5, 1990, the American Society for Horticultural Science initiated a Hall of Fame designed to "honor distinguished persons who have made monumental and unique contributions to horticulture." Only two scientists were inducted at the initiation—Gregor Mendel, the Austrian monk who solved the riddle of heredity, and Liberty Hyde Bailey.
The career of Liberty Hyde Bailey—botanist; horticulturalist; plant breeder; teacher par excellence; visionary; astute, vigorous, successful administrator; lobbyist; prolific writer; superb editor; poet; rural sociologist; philosopher; environmentalist; traveler; and plant explorer—was remarkable for the magnitude of its accomplishments and the breadth and enduring quality of its influence. Bailey made his mark in botany with extensive publications on the systematics of sedges (Carex), palms of the new world tropics, blackberries (Rubus), grapes (Vitis), cabbages (Brassica), and pumpkins and squashes (Curcurbita), among others.
As author, editor, teacher, and frequent public speaker, Bailey helped create the science of horticulture. As an administrator, he established the New York State College of Agriculture at Cornell University, drawing on his skills as a lobbyist, and then, as dean, built it into an institution of