Leo J. Hickey

ID: SIA2013-03969

Creator: Sandved, Kjell Bloch 1922-

Form/Genre: Person, candid

Date: 1975

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 095-13, Box 1, Folder A -Kier

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  • Leo J. Hickey, paleobotanist with the Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, holds a red leaf in his left hand as he compares it to diagrams on a paper he holds in his right hand. He is standing in front of a plant drying cabinet with many racks. The dials for the plant drying cabinet can be seen as well as other papers and leaf fossils on a shelf in front of the cabinet.
  • Hickey was curator and research scientist in paleobiology at the Smithsonian from 1969 to 1982 and chief scientist for four major permanent exhibits including the Ice Age Mammals and the Emergence of Man which traced the impact of the Ice Age on the earth and evolution.
  • An expert in stratigraphy, the plant fossil record, and the history of life broadly, Hickey from the start melded botanical and geological approaches to understand plant evolution. He revolutionized the study of fossil leaves by making a comprehensive study of leaf vein patterns in living plants and using the detailed patterns he found to identify and classify the fossils. By analyzing the sediments in which the earliest fossils of flowering plants were preserved, he could reconstruct the ecological setting in which this preeminent group of plants evolved.


  • Hickey, Leo J
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Paleontology and Paleobotany
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Dept. of Paleobiology
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • Kjell Bloch Sandved of the Office of Exhibits, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), at the commission of Porter Kier, then Director, NMNH, prepared these photographic materials to document personnel and activities of NMNH in 1975.
  • For additional photos of Leo J. Hickey, see Negatives SIA2013-03967 through SIA2013-03971.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 095-13, Box 1, Folder A -Kier

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Natural History
  • Paleoontology
  • Paleobotany
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Plants
  • Paleobiologists
  • Equipment
  • Scientific apparatus and instruments
  • Botany
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Paleobotanists
  • Museum curators
  • Natural history
  • Paleobiology
  • Research--Equipment and supplies
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


Washington (D.C.)


  • Person, candid
  • Slide

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Color; Size: 1w x 1 3.7h ; Type of Image: Person, candid; Medium: Slide

Full Record

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