Archie Carr was born in Mobile, Ala. When Carr was young, the family moved to Fort Worth, Texas. Carr's family took frequent camping vacations and Carr became interested in nature, especially reptiles. In 1920, the family moved to Savannah, Ga., where Carr spent his high school summers working as a stevedore. After high school, Carr enrolled at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., to study English. In 1927, he developed osteomyelitis in his right arm, requiring several surgeries. While recuperating, Carr took classes at Weaver College (now Brevard College) in Weaversville, N.C. In January 1930, Carr's family moved from Savannah to Umatilla, Fla. Carr attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., for a quarter, then enrolled at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He also changed his major from English to zoology, earning a BS in 1932, then staying at UF for graduate studies. Carr completed his PhD in 1937 and was hired by UF as a faculty member. From 1945 to 1949, he took a leave of absence and moved his wife and children to Honduras. During this time, Carr taught at the Escuela Agricola Panamericana in Tegucigalpa and studied the local flora and fauna. High Jungles and Low (published in 1953) describes this experience.
By the time Carr returned to Florida, the focus of his research had become sea turtles. The Windward Road (published in 1956) describes his travels around the Caribbean to study turtles and their behavior patterns. In the late 1950s, he helped found the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, an organization to protect and restore sea turtle populations. For his work, Carr won awards and medals from the National Academy of Sciences, the World Wildlife Fund, the Smithsonian Insitution, and the New York Zoological Society. In addition to his scientific publications, Carr continued to write for the popular audience. Ulendo describes his first trip to Africa, and So Excellent a Fishe is a natural history of the sea turtle. He also wrote several Time-Life books in the 1960s and 1970s. Late in his career, Carr wrote a series of magazine articles about Florida natural history. In the mid-1980s, Carr developed stomach cancer. He died at his home in Micanopy, Fla., in 1987. After his death, a collection of Carr's Florida articles was published as A Naturalist in Florida. The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge was established on the east coast of Florida in 1991.
Archie Carr's books combine travel narrative and natural history.
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Last updated on Dec 12, 2009.