Born on May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania Rachel Carson was the youngest of three children. She had a rugged childhood living in a simple farmhouse outside the western Pennsylvania river town. She credited her mother with introducing her to the wonders of nature that became her lifelong passion.
After her education was completed Rachel joined the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries as the writer of a radio show entitled "Romance Under the Waters," in which she was able to explore life under the ocean and bring it to her listeners. In 1936, after being the first woman to take and pass the civil service test, the Bureau of Fisheries hired her as a full-time junior biologist and for the next 15 years she rose in the ranks until she was the chief editor of all publications for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In the 1940's she began to write books on her observations of underwater exploration. She resigned from her government position in 1952 in order to devote all her time and energy to writing. The idea for her most famous book, Silent Spring, emerged and she began writing it in 1957. The book was published in 1962 and influenced President Kennedy, who had read it, to call for testing of the chemicals mentioned in the book. Rachel Carson has been called the mother of the modern environmental movement.
She died on April 14, 1964 in her home in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Copyright M. A. Webb, 2005. All Rights Reserved
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