From his stunning discovery of Tyrannosaurus rex one hundred years ago to the dozens of other important new dinosaur species he found, Barnum Brown led a remarkable life (1873 1963), spending most of it searching for fossils and sometimes oil in every corner of the globe. One of the most famous scientists in the world during the middle of the twentieth century, Brown who lived fast, dressed to the nines, gambled, drank, smoked, and was known as a ladies’ man became as legendary as the dinosaurs he uncovered. Barnum Brown brushes off the loose sediment to reveal the man behind the legend. Drawing on Brown’s field correspondence and unpublished notes, and on the writings of his daughter and his two wives, it discloses for the first time details about his life and travels from his youth on the western frontier to his spying for the U.S. government under cover of his expeditions. This absorbing biography also takes full measure of Brown’s extensive scientific accomplishments, making it the definitive account of the life and times of a singular man and a superlative fossil hunter.
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"Lowell Dingus and Mark Norell have produced a highly readable, comprehensive account of the life and scientific work of Barnum Brown, arguably the most intrepid and successful collector of dinosaurs and other prehistoric vertebrates ever. Their story goes beyond the sensationalism of earlier accounts to flesh out Brown as not only an intrepid explorer but an important contributor to American science."—Kevin Padian, University of California, Berkeley
"In Barnum Brown an engrossing narrative and a treasury of firsthand field notes and letters combine to form a true epic: the life of a great paleontologist and an all-too-human, and therefore fascinating, man. Indispensable reading for anyone interested in fossils and the people who hunt them."—Michael Novacek, author of Terra
“'The greatest dinosaur hunter of all time,' a fitting title for the man who shipped more than 1200 crates of fossilized bones to New York from far flung localities around the globe. In this superb, first-ever biography of Barnum Brown, Dingus and Norell paint a vivid portrait of an intrepid field worker, accomplished researcher, and popularizer of dinosaurs—a larger-than-life character who left a deep and indelible mark on the field of paleontology."—Scott D. Sampson, author of Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life
"Without a doubt the most popular and well-known dinosaur in the world, Tyrannosaurus rex has inspired millions of people worldwide through fact and fiction. Similarly, just about every vertebrate palaeontologist has been affected by the amazing career of Barnum Brown. But there has never been a biography written by scientists . . . until now! Here at last is an intimate look at the man who discovered the beast and turned our imaginations loose."—Philip J. Currie, author of Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs
Lowell Dingus is Research Associate in Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Mark A. Norell is Chair of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. Together with Eugene Gaffney, Dingus and Norell coauthored Discovering Dinosaurs: Evolution, Extinction, and the Lessons of Prehistory (UC Press, winner of an American Library Association Award).
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