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A sad day in Paleontology


It is indeed a sad day in Paleontology with the passing of one of the grandfathers of modern paleontology, Ned Colbert.


I never really talked to him but knew that he was a very approachable person. I just didn’t know what to say or talk about with him.


I do have a few fond memories of him. At the 1986 Dinosaur Systematic Symposium I’ll never forget him bounding up the Bad Lands like a mountain goat while I, being only 28 was huffing and puffing.


I took a picture of him, though he didn’t know it, by using the outside driver’s side rearview mirror. I liked the composition of the picture.


At the 2nd Dinofest banquet I was sitting at a table and he and his wife, Margaret joined me. The table was full and his son came up. I offered my chair for him and Ned said ‘no sit, it’s ok’. I said, ‘no, it’s alright, I’ll go bother Bakker’. Ned smiled and laughed and I gave my chair to his son.


Not many memories, but all well worth them.


On the way to the SVP this year George Olshevsky and I listened to a tape of his bio made by Don Glut. Don had produced 3 different tapes and Ned’s was the best. If it’s still available I suggest you all get it, it’s worth it to hear his life history.



There is no way we can assess his contribution to paleontology, but if it weren’t for him, it wouldn’t be where it is today. The early evolution of dinosaurs, plate tectonics, and the books he wrote and we grew up with. If there were 100 memorial volumes in his name would not touch what he as contributed to paleontology and all the sparks he’s started within us all.


Tracy L. Ford

P. O. Box 1171

Poway Ca  92074