David Fairchild

Dr. David Fairchild (1869-1954) was an American scientist, author, educator and world-renowned botanist who is credited with introducing thousands of plants into modern American culture.

An agricultural enthusiast from a young age, Fairchild traveled the world in search of plants that could benefit humanity. He is credited with introducing mangos, kale, avocados, soybeans, pistachios and bamboo to American farmers, among many others. At the age of 22, he created the Section of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He would work for the USDA for nearly four decades.

Fairchild was born in Lansing, Michigan, and raised in Manhattan, Kansas, graduating from Kansas State University in 1888. He married Marian Bell, the youngest daughter of Alexander Graham Bell, in 1905. The couple had two children and lived in Coconut Grove, Florida, until Fairchild's death in 1954.