Serviss, Garrett Putnam
BornSharon Springs, New York, USA, 24 March 1851
DiedEnglewood, New Jersey, USA, 25 May 1929
Garrett Serviss’s astronomy popularization spanned more than a half century, sparked when he was a child by viewing the night sky from his father’s farm. Clyde Fisher, who would become director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium, wrote that Serviss did “more to popularize astronomy than any one in America, and perhaps in the entire world.”
Serviss’s parents were Garrett Putnam and Catherine (née Shelp) Serviss, whose ancestry can be traced to pre-Revolutionary settlers in the Mohawk Valley. Serviss graduated from Cornell University in 1872 with a science degree, obtained an L.L.B degree from Columbia University in 1874, and was admitted to the New York State bar that year. Instead of practicing law, he chose journalism as a career, becoming a newspaper writer and editor, particularly with the New York Sun, for which he wrote a long series of science articles. Serviss resigned from the paper...