Barbara Brown, Field Museum staffer, donor who had 4 species named for her, dies


In life, Barbara Brown had four animal species named for her. There was a Peruvian rodent (Isothrix barbarabrownae). There also have been a Brazilian monkey (Callicebus barbarabrownae), a mouse within the Philippines (Apomys brownorum) and a prehistoric chook (Vadaravis brownae).

In dying, though, she hoped to be reincarnated as a hawk.

A birder, nature lover and one of the longest-serving staff at The Area Museum, Mrs. Brown additionally was a generous benefactor. She and her stockbroker-husband Roger Brown gave tens of millions of dollars to the Subject, the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Chicago Botanic Backyard, where the 12-acre Barbara Brown Nature Reserve is known as in her honor.

Mrs. Brown, 89, died Monday of a number of organ failure at Highland Park Hospital, in line with her household.

Barbara and her brother Maynard grew up on the West Aspect in Austin, the youngsters of Jewish immigrants. Their mom was from Bucharest, Romania, their father from Odessa in Ukraine. As a toddler, she attended Emmet grade faculty and beloved driving her bike to the library and going to see Shirley Temple films.

When she was about 10, her house-painter father died because of lung injury from being gassed in World Struggle I.

Her milliner-mother Min Cohen then opened up hat outlets in an period when properly-dressed ladies had one for nearly each outfit. “She put two youngsters by way of school,” Roger Brown stated.

After Austin High Faculty, she needed to review biology but frightened which may not get her a job. So she majored in economics at the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in accordance with her son.

She met her future husband by way of her mom, who sought investment advice from Roger Brown. “She thought, ‘Hey, this is anyone for my daughter,’ ” her husband stated.

Barbara E. Brown and Roger Brown at the opera.

Barbara E. Brown and Roger Brown on the opera. | Offered photograph

After getting married in 1953, the Browns moved to Highland Park. They purchased a home and 10 undeveloped acres near Clavey Street and Green Bay Street where they presided over six youngsters and a menagerie of canine, cats, birds and turtles. “We had a petting zoo,” stated their son Owen Brown.

To beat the visitors, she’d rise up early and be on the street to the museum by 6 a.m., stated her husband, a associate on the brokerage A.G. Becker & Company. She worked on the Area for forty seven years, retiring as a scientific associate.

Mrs. Brown started within the mammalogy department, where she labored for Philip Hershkovitz. She skinned, dissected and recorded specimens and made several analysis expeditions to Brazil.

“My mother had super observational powers, excellent measurement methods, a high degree of accuracy, an excellent reminiscence, a number of curiosity,” her son stated.

In appreciation, Hershkovitz named a monkey species for her. “It has lengthy blond hair. It’s cute,” she advised the Chicago Sun-Occasions in 2007.

In 2006, Bruce D. Patterson, the Area’s MacArthur curator of mammals, bestowed her identify on the Peruvian rodent. A part of the tree rat household, it resembles a…



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