Fab 40: Frederick Palmer Whiddon and E.O. Wilson

Frederick Palmer Whiddon

University President and Entrepreneur
Fred Whiddon came to Mobile in 1960 and started what was to become the University of South Alabama three years later. Whiddon personally borrowed $250, 000 to help build the first building. At the tender age of 33, he was appointed president of the University of South Alabama — the youngest college president in the country at the time. His illustrious tenure would last 34 years. Whiddon died in 2002, at the age of 72.

E.O. Wilson

Naturalist and Father of Sociobiology
Edward Osborne Wilson spent much of his childhood in the countrysides around Mobile, studying insects and particularly ants. Two Pulitzer Prizes and more than 70 years later, Wilson is perhaps the leading voice in biology and conservationism.

After earning two degrees from the University of Alabama, Wilson later earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he is now a professor. His autobiography is titled “Naturalist.”

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John Sellers

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