HOVANITZ, William Baxter

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Santa Barbara Cemetery

HOVANITZ, William Baxter (1915-1977) [#566-14-0395], born in Chicago, Illinois, he moved to the San Francisco Bay are at age 3. In high school he began collecting butterflies, and in 1938 he was graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in entomology. Hovanitz became a lepidopterist interested in the variation and distribution of butterflies, and in 1943 he received his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology. In March 1946 he initiated a studies in the genetics of butterflies at the University of Michigan when he was appointed a Collaborator in the Laboratory. Later that year he was made Assistant Biologist. Hovanitz left that university in July 1948. Back in California in 1949, Hovanitz taught summer sessions at U.C.S.B. where he met and soon thereafter married his wife, Barbara. The couple moved to Cal Tech in 1955, and in 1956 he became a Professor of Biology at Cal State University at Los Angeles, a position he resigned from almost 20 years later, in 1975. In 1977 the couple moved back to Santa Barbara where Hovanitz died unexpectedly of heart failure that year at age 61. He is buried in Santa Barbara Cemetery next to his wife.


William Baxter Hovanitz = Barbara

  • 1. Eric Hovanitz
  • 2. Christine Hovanitz
  • 3. Carl Hovanitz

Hovanitz collected on:

  • Farallon Islands (1937)
  • Santa Rosa Island (1940)


IN MEMORIUM



Island Collections~
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Farallon Islands W. B. Hovanitz UCB April 11, 1937 UC-91552 Poa annua Plants
Farallon Islands W. B. Hovanitz UCB April 11, 1937 UC-91553 Lasthenia maritima Plants
Farallon Islands W. B. Hovanitz UCB April 11, 1937 UC-91554 Lasthenia maritima Plants
Farallon Islands W. B. Hovanitz UCB April 11, 1937 UC-91555 Claytonia rubra subsp. depressa Plants


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Rosa Islands W. B. Hovanitz UCLA May 1940 UCLA-49885 Salvia brandegeei Plants
Santa Rosa Islands W. B. Hovanitz UCLA May 1940 UCLA-69926 Salvia brandegeei Plants
Santa Rosa Islands W. B. Hovanitz UCLA May 1940 UCLA-69927 Salvia brandegeei Plants


In the News~

September 18, 1977 [SBNP]: “William Hovanitz, 61, of 5587 Cathedral Oaks Rd., died Wednesday at Goleta Valley Community Hospital after a brief illness. He was a former professor at California State University at Los Angeles and had lived in Santa Barbara for the past five months. He was born Nov. 6, 1915 in Chicago and came to California in 1918. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1938 with a BS degree and from Cal Tech in 1943 with a Ph.D. in genetics. During World War II he worked with the U.S. Navy doing malaria research. After spending several years at the University of San Francisco, he taught biology at California State University at Los Angeles. He was the founder and editor of the Journal of Research on Lepidoptera. He was a fellow of the California Academy of Science and is listed in Who's Who of the West and American Men of Science. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; two sons, Eric of Alhambra, and Karl of San Luis Obispo; a daughter, Mrs. Christine Spaulding, of Auburn, Ala., and a brother, Arthur, of Carmel. Memorial services were held yesterday at the chapel of McDermott-Crockett Mortuary with Charles Murphy officiating.”