Smith, Hugh McCormick

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Biographical History

Hugh McCormick Smith (1865-1941) was born on November 21, 1865, in Washington, D.C. He studied and published on herpetology and ichthyology for the Smithsonian in the United States and Asia. He took part in the Bureau of Fisheries Philippines voyage of the Albatross 1907-1910. As Director of the Philippine Expedition, Smith was responsible for planning the itinerary, assembling the equipment, and selecting the scientific crew. A native of Washington, D.C., Smith joined the U.S. Fish Commission in 1886 and spent over forty years in government service. During the time of the Expedition, he was the Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries (formerly U.S. Fish Commission.) While the marine sciences and natural history remained his main interest throughout his life, he received an M.D. degree in 1888 and taught on the medical faculty of Georgetown University until 1905. Smith visited 22 countries to study their marine resources and fisheries, and the extensive collections obtained during these expeditions are now deposited in various museums, including the Smithsonian. Among his numerous publications, The Fresh Water Fishes of Siam, or Thailand (1945), a classic work in ichthyology, was the result of his decade-long study of native fishes in Thailand, where he lived from 1923 to 1935. In honor of Smith's contributions to natural history, 25 species of fishes, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and plants were named for him. He died on September 28, 1941.


National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes. (2012). "Scientific Explorations: The Albatross". Retrieved January 18, 2012 from

Related entities

United States. Bureau of Fisheries : Took part in expeditions with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries

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