John Edward Gray facts for kids

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John Edward Gray
John Edward Gray 1851
Born 12 February 1800
Walsall, England, UK
Died 7 March 1875(1875-03-07) (aged 75)
London, England, UK
Nationality English
Fields Zoology
Signature

John Edward Gray FRS (12 February 1800 – 7 March 1875) studied medicine in London, and became an English zoologist. Gray was Keeper of Zoology at the British Museum from 1840 until Christmas 1874. That was before the natural history holdings were split off to be the Natural History Museum. He officially joined the Zoological Department in 1824 to help John George Children catalog the reptile collection.

Gray published several catalogues of the museum collections which discussed animal groups and described new species. He improved the collections to make them amongst the best in the world. During his fifty years employed at the British Museum Gray wrote nearly 500 papers, including many descriptions of species new to science. These had been presented to the Museum by collectors from around the world, and included all branches of zoology, although Gray usually left the descriptions of new birds to his younger brother and colleague George. Gray was also active in malacology, the study of molluscs.

In 1833, Gray was a founder of what became the Royal Entomological Society.

Gray was also interested in postage stamps; on 1 May 1840, the day the Penny Black first went on sale, he bought some to keep, thus making him the world's first known stamp collector.

John Edward Gray was buried at St Mary's Church, Lewisham.

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