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Thomas Sam Elias Edit Profile

Botanist , author

Thomas Sam Elias, American botanist, author. Recipient Cooley award, American Society Plant Taxonomists, 1970, Distinguished Alumni award, Southern Illinois University, 1989, Presidential Rank award, 2000, Writer's Artist and Photographer's award, Bonsai Clubs International, 2001.


Elias, Thomas Sam was born on December 30, 1942 in Cairo, Illinois, United States.


Bachelor in Botany, Southern Illinois University, 1964. Master of Arts in Botany, Southern Illinois University, 1966. Doctor of Philosophy in Biology, St. Louis University, 1969.

Doctor of Philosophy (honorary), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 2003.


Assistant curator Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1969-1971. Administrator, dendrologist Cary Arboretum, New York Botanical Garden, Millbrook, 1971-1973, assistant director, 1973-1984. Director, Chief Executive Officer Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden, Claremont, California, 1984-1993.

Chairman, professor department botany Claremont Graduate School, 1984-1993. Director United States National Arboretum, Washington, since 1993. Lecturer in extension Harvard University, 1971.

Adjunct professor College Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York, 1977-1980. Coordinator The United States of America/The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Botanical Exchange, Program for United States Department of Interior, Washington, since 1976, United States of America/China Botanical Exchange, Program for United States Department of Interior, 1988-1994. Senior executive service United States Department of Agriculture, since 1993.



Son of George Sam (deceased) and Anna (Clanton) E. (deceased). Married Barbara Ana Boyd (deceased). Children: Stephen, Brian.

Married Hiromi Nakaoji, 2000.

George Sam Elias

Barbara Ana Boyd

Hiromi Nakaoji

Stephen Elias

Brian Elias