Orator F. Cook

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Orator Fuller Cook
Born (1867-05-28)May 28, 1867
Clyde, New York, USA
Died April 23, 1949(1949-04-23) (aged 81)
Lanham, Maryland, USA
Fields Botany, entomology
Institutions USDA
Alma mater Syracuse University
Known for Coining of speciation
Author abbrev. (botany) O.F.Cook
Author abbrev. (zoology) Cook

Orator Fuller Cook, Jr. (1867–1949) was an American botanist, entomologist, and agronomist, known for coining the term speciation, the process by which new species arise from existing ones.[1]

Cook, born in Clyde, New York in 1867, graduated from Syracuse University in 1890. He worked for one year as an instructor at Syracuse. In 1891 Cook became a special agent of the New York State Colonization Society. He worked in Liberia, and in 1896, he was elected president of Liberia College. He held that position until 1898. That year he joined the United States Department of Agriculture as a plant scientist, and eventually became Principal Botanist and traveled throughout the world investigating crop species for the United States government. He specialized in cotton and rubber plants and the classification of palms, particularly the palms of Hispaniola. He published almost four hundred books and articles during his career, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science by Syracuse University in 1930. Cook served as Honorary Assistant Curator of Cryptogamic Collections at the United States National Herbarium from 1898 until 1948.


  1. ^ Berlocher, Stewart H. (1998). "Origins: a Brief History of Research on Speciation". In Howard, Daniel J.; Berlocher, Stewart H. Endless Forms: Species and Speciation. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 0195109015. 
  2. ^ "Author Query for 'O.F.Cook'". International Plant Names Index. 

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