Introducing the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Environmental Hall of Fame

John James Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt and Rachel Carson are the first honorees.

| September/October 1983

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    John James Audubon, American Artist and Ornithologist (1785–1851)
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    Henry David Thoreau, American Writer and Naturalist (1817–1862)
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    John Muir, Geologist, Explorer, and Naturalist (1838–1914)
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    Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States (1858–1919)
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    Rachel Carson, Scientist and Author (1907–1964)

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"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more."

The first of our long-awaited Environmental Hall of Fame selections—based on suggestions from MOTHER 's readers and voted upon by her editors—have been made! By the end of this year, we'll have chosen a total of 13 individuals whom we esteem for the work each did to further the protection and preservation of the planet's natural environment. (That's one selection for each year the MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been published, and we'll add another honoree each year hereafter.) 

Of course, in addition to their appearance in the pages of this magazine, these true firiends of the earth will be honored in commemorative displays that are now being set up at our beautiful Eco-Village. It's a small tribute, indeed, because the good that these men and women have accomplished has benefited us all, and—under the guardianship of each of us—will continue to serve future generations. 

John James Audubon

American Artist and Ornithologist (1785–1851) 

John Audubon was born on the island of Haiti, and was later educated in Paris. There, he studied under David, who was then recognized as the principal French artist of the Revolutionary period. By 1820, while still a student, Audubon began the task that was to consume the rest of his life: imitating nature with brush and paint.

For years, he trekked through the North American wilderness, collecting bird specimens and doing field sketches that were later used as a basis for his incredibly detailed illustrations of the various avian species. All in all, Audubon completed an astonishing 1,065 full-sized paintings of North American birds. Those portraits make up his classic, The Birds of America, which was published in four separate volumes between 1827 and 1838. This masterwork was accompanied by Audubon's exceptional Ornithological Biography,  in which the artist created ''word pictures'' to describe the wilderness settings through which he'd journeyed.



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