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John L. Baum

John ("Jack") Leach Baum was born in New York City on March 25, 1916, the son of Katherine Crouse and Dwight James Baum, a prominent New York architect. He developed an interest in minerals at the age of eight, and enterted a private boarding school at the age of ten. He married Augusta Gallagher of Malden, Massachusetts in 1940, and together they had two sons: Dwight Gallagher Baum and Peter Nicholaus Baum. He died October 16, 2011, in Hamburg, New Jersey.

Baum received his training in Geology at Harvard University, graduating cum laude in 1939, and immediately thereafter took a position with the New Jersey Zinc Corporation at the Franklin Mine, where he became Resident Geologist and was involved in exploration work. After retirement he became curator (then curator emeritus) of the Franklin Mineral Museum in Franklin, New Jersey. He published "Structure and Mineralogy of the Franklin Zinc-Iron-Manganese Deposit, New Jersey" (Economic Geology, 69, p.157-180) with co-author Clifford Frondel in 1974. John Baum continued to be an important contributor to the whole of the Franklin-Sterling Hill mineral culture. He also continued his long-term contributions to the museum and to the Franklin- Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society, serving as counselor, historian, trustee, sage, archivist, and resident mineral expert. He discovered the new (fluorescent) mineral species johnbaumite, which was subsequently named in his honor by Peter J. Dunn in 1980.

In 1992 John Baum donated some of his extensive and important collection to the Franklin Mineral Museum, and other specimens to the Smithsonian Institution. He was a charter subscriber to the Mineralogical Record in 1970.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
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