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Edwin Harris Colbert

curator , paleontologist

Edwin Harris Colbert, paleontologist, museum curator. Recipient John Strong Newberry prize Columbia University, 1931, American Museum Natural History medal, 1970, National Ghost Ranch Foundation Special award, 1986, Distinguished Alumni award Department Geology, University Nebraska, 1986, George W. Clinton award The Buffalo Society Natural Sciences, 1987, Hayden medal Geological award Academy National Sciences Philadelphia, 1996.


Colbert, Edwin Harris was born on September 28, 1905 in Clarinda, Iowa, United States. Son of George Harris and Mary (Adamson) Colbert.


Student, Northwest Missouri State Teachers College, 1926. Bachelor, University Nebraska, 1928. Doctor of Science, University Nebraska, 1973.

AM, Columbia University, 1930. Doctor of Philosophy, Columbia University, 1935. Doctor of Science, University Arizona, 1976.

Doctor of Science, Wilmington College, 1984.


Student assistant University Museum University Nebraska, 1926-1929. University fellow Columbia University, 1929-1930, lecturer department zoology, 1938-1939, professor vertebrate paleontology, 1945-1969, professor emeritus, from 1969. Research assistant American Museum Natural History, 1930-1932, assistant curator, 1933-1942, acting curator, 1942, curator, 1943, chairman department amphibians and reptiles, 1943-1944, curator of fossil reptiles and amphibians, 1945-1970, chairman department geology and paleontology, 1958-1960, chairman department vertebrate paleontology, 1960-1966, curator emeritus, since 1970.

Honorary curator vertebrate paleontology Museum Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, since 1970.



Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science, Geological Society of America, Paleontological Society (vice president 1963), New York Zoological Society. Member Society Vertebrate Paleontology (secretary-treasurer 1944-1946, president 1946-1947, Romer-Simpson medal 1989), Society Mammalogy, Society Ichthyology and Herpetology, Society for Study Evolution (editor 1950-1952, vice president 1957, president 1958), National Academy of Sciences (Daniel Giraud Elliot medal 1935), Sigma Xi.


Married Margaret Mary Matthew, July 8, 1933. Children: George Matthew, David William, Philip Valentine, Daniel Lee, Charles Diller.

George Harris Colbert

Mary (Adamson) Colbert

Margaret Mary Matthew

George Matthew Colbert

David William Colbert

Philip Valentine Colbert

Daniel Lee Colbert

Charles Diller Colbert