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Ira L. Baldwin
Born August 20, 1895(1895-08-20)
Indiana, United States
Died August 9, 1999 (aged 103)
Tucson, Arizona, United States
Occupation biologist
Nationality American
Subjects bacteriology

Ira L. Baldwin (August 20, 1895 – August 9, 1999) was the founder and director emeritus of the Wisconsin Academy Foundation. He began teaching bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he had done his doctoral work, in 1927, and a few years later moved into what became a long career in administration. He held positions as chair of the Department of Bacteriology, dean of the Graduate School, dean and director of the College of Agriculture, university vice president for academic affairs, and special assistant to the president. He was also involved in programs for agricultural development both in the United States and abroad. Among Baldwin's many achievements was a review of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, titled "Chemicals and Pests" in the journal Science.




Early life and education

Ira Baldwin was born in 1895 on a 40-acre (160,000 m2) farm in Indiana. In his youth, he earned money to attend college by selling ducks and husking corn. In World War I, he served as a second lieutenant in an artillery unit, state-side. Baldwin attended college at Purdue but sought his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


George W. Merck, a key member of the panel advising President Franklin D. Roosevelt on aspects of biological warfare, brought many scientists into uniform for a super-secret, coordinated effort to defend against possible enemy use of biological weapons and to devise a capability to respond "in kind" to any such attack. Among them was Baldwin, then a professor of bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin. In 1943, Baldwin became the first scientific director of the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories at Camp Detrick, Maryland. [1]

After World War II, Baldwin returned to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, becoming the vice president of academic affairs in 1948 and special assistant to the university's president a decade later. He died a few days before his 104th birthday in 1999.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "A History of Fort Detrick, Maryland", by Norman M. Covert (4th Edition, 2000)
  2. ^ "In Memoriam: Ira Baldwin". Digital Collections Center. University of Wisconsin. 2000. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 

External links


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