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About Dr. Henry H. Hagedorn

Henry Howard Hagedorn (1940-2014) was a husband, father, teacher, and scientist internationally recognized for his research on the reproductive physiology of mosquitoes.

Henry taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Cornell University, and the University of Arizona in Tucson.  At the University of Arizona, he was a Professor, Head of the Department of Entomology, and Director of the Center for Insect Science. He became a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1988 and a Fellow of the American Entomological Society in 2012. Henry was a pioneer in the area of insect endocrinology, and a wonderful mentor of graduate students. Gene Robinson (now National Academy Member and Swanlund Chair at the University of Illinois) said:

Henry took a strong interest in me early on in my career as a graduate student, and we struck up a warm and strong relationship for six years that was by far the most influential force in my early development as a scientist. We started by bonding over bees... but our relationship was more than bees—it was about a very busy professor, at the peak of his career, engaging intensely and generously with a graduate student on all aspects of science—the nitty gritty of experimental design all the way to deep philosophical issues on the nature and essence of science. Henry spent hours with me during my graduate career, and looking back, one of the first flashes of insight I had as a young harried assistant professor was just how extraordinary those long and leisurely meetings were.

Jeff Shapiro (now retired from the USDA ARS in Gainesville, FL) said:

From the time we met, he made me walk the fine line between his challenge to do better and his earnest support for my success. As another student put it, he was "a real mensch," a genuine human being… His work in our little field of insect endocrinology stood out as uniquely brilliant, an insightful synthesis of theory from experimental fact…Henry will always be an outstanding example for me. He steadfastly pursued his principles on issues such as his devotion to mosquito biology, the importance of study in basic insect science as opposed to applied entomology, or open publishing as an important means to freely share scientific knowledge with the world, not just with other professionals whose institutions could afford to pay. His enthusiasm was boundless and infectious.

Though he formally retired in 2005, retiring was not Henry's way, so he remained an adjunct member of the Department of Entomology at University of Wisconsin-Madison for the remainder of his life. In retirement he founded the "Journal of Insect Science," one of the first online open access journals in his field. Henry made it his mission to seek out and give voice to serious scientists regardless of their means or country of origin.

Henry loved teaching all who wanted to learn. His many accomplishments as a teacher at UA included leading the development of K12 Lesson Plans "Using Live Insects in Elementary Classrooms" and creating "Views of Life," which became one of the most popular courses for undergraduate non-biology majors. He also established the "Butterfly Magic" exhibit at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Henry is survived by Magdalene, his loving wife and companion of almost 50 years, his daughter Katrina and son Michael, his sisters Colette and Elizabeth, and brother Phillip, his many relatives and close friends, and the thousands of students whose lives he transformed.

Last updated 8 Feb 2016