Conrad Gessner

Mar 26, 1516 - Dec 13, 1565

Conrad Gessner was a Swiss physician, naturalist, bibliographer, and philologist. Born into a poor family in Zürich, Switzerland, his father and teachers quickly realised his talents and supported him through university, where he studied classical languages, theology and medicine. He became Zürich's City Physician, but was able to spend much of his time on collecting, research and writing. Gessner compiled monumental works on bibliography and zoology and was working on a major botanical text at the time of his death from plague at the age of 49. He is regarded as the father of modern scientific bibliography, zoology and botany. He was frequently the first to describe species of plants or animals in Europe, such as the tulip in 1559. A number of plants and animals have been named after him.
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“Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.”

Conrad Gessner
Mar 26, 1516 - Dec 13, 1565
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