Rachel Carson (Rachel Louise Carson)

Rachel Carson

Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Rachel Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her a U.S. National Book Award, recognition as a gifted writer, and financial security. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the reissued version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. This sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths. Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially some problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was the book Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides. It also inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Rachel Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter. Weakened from breast cancer and her treatment regimen, Carson became ill with a respiratory virus in January 1964. Her condition worsened, and in February, doctors found that she had severe anemia from her radiation treatments and in March they discovered that the cancer had reached her liver. She died of a heart attack on April 14, 1964, in her home in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her body was cremated and the ashes buried beside her mother at Parklawn Memorial Gardens, Rockville, Maryland. Some of her ashes were later scattered along the coast of Southport Island, near Sheepscot Bay, Maine.

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Born

  • May, 27, 1907
  • USA
  • Springdale, Pennsylvania

Died

  • April, 14, 1964
  • USA
  • Silver Spring, Maryland

Cause of Death

  • heart attack

Cemetery

  • Parklawn Memorial Park and Menorah Gardens
  • Rockville, Maryland
  • USA

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