Keith, (G.) Stuart 1931-2003
KEITH, (G.) Stuart 1931-2003
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born September 4, 1931, in Clothall, Hertfordshire, England; died of a heart attack February 13, 2003, on the island of Chuuk, Micronesia. Ornithologist and author. Keith was a world-renowned bird expert and cofounder of the American Birding Association. He attended Marlborough College before serving in the King's Own Scottish Borderers during the Korean War. After the war, he earned a master's degree in classics from Oxford University. Being practical-minded, Keith began his career working in finance, but his love of birds led him to quit in 1958 and take a job as a research associate in the department of ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He was still on staff there at the time of his death. His income mostly came from writing and lecturing about birds, and he used this money for his travels around the world, often leading field trips to places such as Africa, Costa Rica, the Far East, and New Zealand. A cofounder of the American Birding Association in 1968, Keith became the group's president in 1970 and was active on its board until 1990. He also cowrote The Collins Bird Guide: A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe (1980) and coedited the seven-volume The Birds of Africa (1980—), the last volume of which was in progress at his death. During the course of his life, Keith identified over 6,500 birds on his "lifelist," a record topped only by Phoebe Snetsinger in 1999. He was in Micronesia on a birding expedition when he had a fatal heart attack just after spotting a new bird species for his lifelist.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Independent (London, England), March 21, 2003, p. 22.
New York Times, March 8, 2003, p. B7.
Times (London, England), April 5, 2003, p. 46.