Joseph Michael Daly was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Julia (nee Yarwood) and Michael Daly on April 9, 1922, and grew up in Newport, Rhode Island. His father died when he was young, leaving support of the family to his mother. Daly spoke of her often and of how hard she worked in unskilled jobs to support the family. Daly was always Joe or Joseph to his mother, but there were too many “Joes" in plant pathology at the University of Minnesota, so Daly was always known as "Mike" to his fellow scientists.
Although he wanted to work to help support the family after high school, Daly's mother strongly encouraged him to go to college. He worked his way through Rhode Island College, where he was influenced by botanist Vernon Cheadle and plant pathologist Frank Howard to pursue a career in plant pathology. After obtaining his B.S. degree, Daly went to the University of Minnesota for graduate studies in plant pathology. There he married Cecilia Rieger, a botanist with an M.S. from Vassar. They had six daughters and two sons, all of whom survive: Katherine O'Rourke, Anne Schmidt, Melissa Hoy; Martha, Cecilia, Constance, Stephen, and Timothy Daly.
Family and religion were important parts of Daly's life. He served on the Catholic Social Service Board and was involved in educational efforts to promote awareness of the sanctity of life. At home he led the family's lively dinner-hour discussions and strongly encouraged his children in their diverse interests. He was proud of his wife when she obtained her second M.S. degree, in computer science, after raising eight children. She taught computer science and counseled students for many years at the University of Nebraska.
I first knew Mike Daly when we were both graduate stu-