Luther Goldman

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Luther Chase Goldman (1909-2005) was an American naturalist and wildlife photographer. Best known for his photographs of endangered species of birds, he was chief photographer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Luther was born in Washington, D.C., on November 2, 1909. He was fortunate in his younger years to learn nature lore from his father, Edward A. Goldman, an eminent naturalist. In teenage summer months he served as camp boy on research expeditions in Arizona, trapping and preparing specimens of mammals, his early interest, and also gaining field experience with the Predator and Rodent Control Branch of the Bureau of Biological Survey of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

At the University of Maryland he earned a degree in biological sciences and lettered as a football first-string lineman. Three years of field work followed: in Mexico (two winters) for biological investigations of wintering waterfowl, as a member of a party in Baja California to collect mountain sheep (a new subspecies), in Florida, as assistant in Arthur H. Howell’s fauna research, and in Arizona for mammal research on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

In 1939, he married his college sweetheart, Mary Elizabeth Mulligan. That year, too, was the beginning of his 20-year career as manager of national wildlife refuges at the new Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge in California.

Luther’s intense interest in ornithology and in wildlife photography developed early as a result of living in...
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