The greatest evolutionary biologist of the 20th century, Ernst Mayr fused Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection with the modern science of genetics. His 1942 book Systematics and the Origin of Species established the "biological species" concept, altering mankind's understanding of the nature of a species.
Mayr's career began in Germany in the years following World War I. It took him to the jungles of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and finally to the United States, where he served for over 20 years as Director of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and then as Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.
Over the course of his nearly 80-year career, Mayr identified 26 new species of birds,and 38 species of orchids. He received virtually every award a biologist can receive. Among his dozen books and many hundreds of articles, he published more than 200 articles after his "retirement" from teaching at age 75. His interview with the Academy of Achievement took place when he was already 96 years old. Ernst Mayr was still writing and publishing when he died at the age of 100.