Rachel Carson (1907-1964)

American marine biologist and author. Born on 27 May 1907 in Springdale, Philadelphia. Carson graduated from Pennsylvania College for Women in 1929, then gained a Masters in zoology at John Hopkins University in 1932. She went on to teach zoology at the University of Maryland from 1931 to 1936, then became a marine biologist with the US Bureau of Fisheries (renamed the US Fish and Wildlife Service after World War II).

In 1941 she published Under the Sea Wind, her first book about sea life, and by 1949 she had risen to Chief Biologist and Editor. She went on to publish The Sea Around Us (1951), before resigning her post in 1952 to devote her life to writing.

In 1955 she published The Edge of the Sea, and in 1962 her most famous book Silent Spring, which denounced the excessive use of various chemical pesticides and instigated a Presidential Advisory Committee calling for an investigation into their use. The book was heralded as one of the most influential works of the century.

Carson is remembered for the beauty of her prose, and as a pioneer of the modern worldwide environmental movement. Her final book The Sense of Wonder (1965), was published after her death from cancer. She died in Maryland on 14 April 1964.