Roger Tory


Roger Tory Peterson was named the best-known ornithologist of the 20th century by the New York Times. His signature contribution to the arc of the American Conservation Movement was the modern field guide. Writer and critic William Zinsser once described his Field Guide to Birds as “the single most revolutionary development in American birding.” The first field guide sold out in two weeks. It has since gone through numerous revisions, and Peterson’s field guides have sold over eight million copies, becoming New York Times bestsellers. There are now more than 50 guides in the series and Peterson’s books have been translated into at least 12 languages.

Peterson is one of the founding inspirations for the 20th century environmental movement. He either wrote or edited nearly 50 books about animals, plants, or nature and he contributed prefaces, introductions, and commentary to dozens more. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award, for his cultural contributions.