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Florian A. Cajori

Florian A. Cajori, Jr. had a long and successful career as a scientist and teacher, and collected minerals for over half a century. He was born July 29, 1892 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His father, Florian Sr., a professor at Colorado College, was an internationally known mathematician. Florian's early years were spent in Colorado Springs and his interest in minerals and enthusiasm for mountain climbing can be traced back to these days when he roamed the slopes of Pikes Peak and adjacent areas. He completed his undergraduate studies at Colorado College in 1914 and received his doctorate in biochemistry from Yale in 1920. That same year he also married Marion Haines of Colorado Springs (they had one son, Charles, who became a well-known artist in New York and an instructor at Queen's College). He then worked in Yugoslavia with the American Relief Administration but returned to the United States to teach chemistry at Stanford from 1920 to 1921.

Following his term at Stanford, Cajori was employed with the Department of Agriculture as a scientific assistant. He served in World War I with the 89th Division in France. After the war, he joined the staff of the Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia as a research assistant from 1922 to 1928. He then accepted a faculty position in the Biochemistry Department of the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held for 14 years. In 1946, after again serving in the Army in the office of the Surgeon General, he joined the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Colorado Medical School where he taught until his retirement in 1960.

Cajori (known as “Jerry” to his friends) was an active member of the Philadelphia Mineral Society; he served as President of that organization for a term, and enjoyed field trips with friends to famous Eastern mineral localities. Upon returning to Colorado, he joined the Colorado Mineral Society, and during the following decades he accumulated a personal collection of fine specimens which he donated to the Denver Museum of Natural History in 1977. Cajori was also active in the Colorado Mountain Club beginning in 1946, served as President of the Club for one year, and as leader of climbing expeditions to all parts of the state. He had climbed the summits of most of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks and belonged to the Saturday Nights, the oldest mountain climbing club in Colorado. In 1967 Cajori was appointed Honorary Curator of Mineralogy for the Department of Geology at the Denver Museum of Natural History, and his detailed work with the mineral collections has been of inestimable value. After a brief illness, he died on October 8, 1978 at the age of 86.

The above notes were adopted, with minor modifications, from:
MURPHY, J. (1978) Florian A, Cajori. Denver Museum of Natural History Annual Report, p. 49.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Florian A. Cajori Florian Cajori
The Mineralogical Record - Florian A. Cajori 38 x 64 mm, Dated on the back, "8/12/'26"
The Mineralogical Record - Florian A. Cajori 65 x 106 mm, Dated on the back, "Found 1948."
The Mineralogical Record - Florian A. Cajori 38 x 64 mm, Dated on the back, "1966 M. Reid."
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