Little, Elbert L. (Elbert Luther), 1907-2004

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Biographical History

Elbert Luther Little, Jr., was a botanist and who specialized in the study of trees. He was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas on October 15, 1907. He earned a B.A. in Botany from the University of Oklahoma (1927) a M.S. and Ph.D. in botany at the University of Chicago (1929), and a B.S. in zoology by the University of Oklahoma (1932). Little worked as a forest ecologist with the USDA Forest Service in the southwest United States, focusing on poisonous range plants and pinyon-juniper woodlands. He eventually worked as a dendrologist with the U.S. Forest Service for 34 years, becoming chief dendrologist in 1967. He retired in 1975. During his career Little spent time in Central and South America collecting, working in conjunction with the United Nations, and as a visiting professor at: Universidad de Los Andes at Mérida, Venezuela (1953-54), Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Ensenanza at Turrialba, Costa Rica (1964-65 and 1967). Little was married to Ruby Rema Rice, a research botanist at the Agricultural Research Service of the Department of Agriculture.


(1993). “OAS Award of Merit, 1992, Elbert Luther Little, Jr.” Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science. 73, 81-82. Retrieved August 5, 2013 from

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United States. Forest Service: Worked as dendrologist for

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