United States, Born 1931
Gilbert Grosvenor has devoted his entire career to bringing the wonders of geography to millions around the globe.
A former president and now chairman of the National Geographic Society (NGS) — the world’s biggest non-profit scientific and educational institution — Grosvenor has spent the past 45 years carrying on the tradition of his family, who helped found NGS a century ago.
Grosvenor points out how telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell, his great grandfather and the society’s second president, was ahead of his time in seeking new ways to teach science to children. “He had the ability to bring out the curiosity in youngsters, particularly his own grandchildren,” notes Grosvenor.
Gil Grosvenor’s role in improving geography education in the U.S. through innovative NGS programmes and through his own lively, interactive lectures in the nation’s classrooms bears testimony to this heritage. Among his many notable accomplishments, he served as editor of National Geographic magazine from 1970 to 1980 and was instrumental in developing the society’s Education Foundation, along with National Geographic World, a monthly children’s magazine, the National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic television and the National Geographic Kids Network, an international telecommunications-based science and geography programme.
Once an active participant in NGS expeditions, the ardent environmentalist is now more likely to be found skiing or cruising his sailboat on the Bras d’Or Lakes in Nova Scotia.
Published in 2000