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Anthony R. Kampf
(1948-    )

Anthony Robert “Tony” Kampf was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 18, 1948, the son of Rita (an administrative assistant and office building manager) and Anton Kampf, (an architect). He grew up in Chicago until the age of eight, when his family moved to Skokie, Illinois. His passion as a teenager was chemistry, and he had a well-eqipped laboratory in the basement of his home. He attended Notre Dame High School for Boys in Niles, Illinois, graduating in 1966, and enrolled at the University of Illinois in Chicago as a Chemistry major. There he took course series in crystallography-mineralogy-petrology and and became completely hooked on crystallography, what was to be a lifelong interest and profession. Although he continued as a Chemistry major, he was hired as a laboratory and teaching assistant to Prof. Ekkehart Tillmanns the head of the Geological Sciences Department, Dr. Werner Baur, becaming involved in the activities of the department, especially the field trips.

After receiving his B.S. Degree in Chemistry in 1970 he switched to Mineralogy and received his Master's Degree (with a thesis on the crystal structure of verplanckite) in 1972. Though it wsn't required for his degree, he attended geology field camp in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and was introduced to Dr. Willard "Bill" Roberts, a well-known mineralogist at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. Through Roberts he met mineral dealer Gary Hansen of St. Louis, who became a good friend and encouraged Tony and his wife Kathy (they had married in 1971) to attended the next Detroit Show, where they helped Hansen in his booth and met some of the other important dealers (as well as curator Carl Francis). He attended his first Tucson Show the following February and hasn't missed one since.

Tony enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Chicago, and studied under phosphate specialist Dr. Paul B. Moore, writing his dissertation on Crystal structure studies on phosphate minerals: bermanite, melonjosephite, minyulite, and schoonerite. Aside from that structural work, most of his research at the University of Chicago was devoted to studying the phosphate minerals of the Palermo No. 1 pegmatite in New Hampshire. After graduating in 1976 he accepted the position of Assistant Curator of Mineralogy at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, under Dr. Peter C. Keller. When Keller left in 1981 Tony became Curator and head of the Mineralogy Department, a position which he has held ever since.

Tony disposed of his personal collection when he became surator. Under his stewardship the Museum's mineralogy collection has grown from 17,000 to 150,000 specimens, to become the finest such collection west of the Smithsonian, and contains the best collection of California specimens in the world. He and Keller worked extensively on the museum's large and impressive Hall of Gems and Minerals (opened in 1978). He has also worked closely with the department's very active support organization, the Gem and Mineral Council, overseeing fund-raising activities, field trips for member (to far-flung mineral regions in South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia, including 14 trips thus far to Minas Gerais), a lecture series and the annual party for members. Among the most successful fund-raisers has been the Photo-Atlas of Minerals CD, prepared by Tony and George Gerhold and published by the Gem and Mineral Council. While some other museums have stagnated badly or suffered cut-backs over the years, Tony's energetic and innovative leadership have kept the L.A. County Museum (as most people call it) vital, active and growing.

His research consists mainly of descriptive mineralogy, crystal chemistry and structural crystallography focusing on the characterization of new or inadequately described minerals. He has had a longstanding research interest in phosphate minerals, particularly those occurring in pegmatite deposits. Besides conducting the classical mineralogical characterization of numerous individual phosphate species, Kampf has sought to interpret their genetic relationships and mineralogical systematics based upon atomic structure and crystal chemistry. Minerals occurring in the near-surface oxidation zones of metallic ore deposits have also been the subjects of investigations. His personal bibliography lists 15 articles published in the Mineralogical Record and over 130 in other publications, including 23 descriptions of new mineral species (juanitaite, philolithite, calcioaravaipaite, jeanbandyite, perloffite, phosphohedyphane, redgillite, cobaltarthurite, jacquesdietrichite, artroeite, ferrisurite, parafransoletite, grandreefite, pseudograndreefite, laurelite, aravaipaite, gainesite, schoonerite, olmsteadite, foggite, goedkenite, samuelsonite and whitmoreite), 30 crystal structure determinations and five more new species that are “in the pipeline.”

Tony is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California Department of Earth Sciences, a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America, a Delegate to the International Mineralogical Association's Commission on Museums (and is their Webmaster), a Director and past President of the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (he is currently their Webmaster as well, and Chair of their Computer Committee), a Research Associate of the San Bernardino County Museum's Division of Earth Science, a Research Associate with the American Gemological Institute, a Member of the Editorial Review Board for Gems & Gemology and Mineralogical Record, a Member of the Board of Directors for the Fund for the Preservation of the California State Mining & Mineral Museum, a past President and Member of the Board of Directors (since 1982) of the Mineralogical Record, a Consulting Editor for Rocks & Minerals, a Member and past President of the Friends of Mineralogy, and is a member of various other societies as well.

In 1986 Tony was the recipient of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies Scholarship Foundation award for "Distinguished Service in the Earth Sciences." In 2005 he received the Brunauer Award presented by the Cements Division of the American Ceramic Society in recognition of the best paper on cements published during 2005 (a study of the crystal structure of tobermorite 14Ĺ). And he also received the prestigious Carnegie Mineralogical Award for 2016.

Amng his other interests, Tony plays volleyball several times a week and enjoys copetitive Scrabble. He and Kathy have also been involved in their daughter Carolyn's activities as a competitive gymnast; she recently graduated from the University of California at Davis (B.S. Psychology) where she was co-captain of the U.C. Davis team.

BASCIANO et al. (2001) Kampfite, a new barium silicate carbonate mineral species from Fresno County, California. Canadian Mineralogist, 39, 1053-1058.
LEICHT, D. (2003) Who's who in mineral names: Anthony Robert Kampf (b. 1948) Rocks & Minerals, 78 (2), 126-128.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
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