Malcolm McKenna

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Malcolm C. McKenna
Malcolm C. McKenna.jpg
Born (1931-07-21)July 21, 1931
Pomona, California
Died March 3, 2008(2008-03-03) (aged 76)
Boulder, Colorado
Alma mater
Known for Classification of mammals
Children Douglas, Andrew, Katharine, and Bruce
Scientific career

Malcolm Carnegie McKenna (1930–2008) was an American paleontologist and author on the subject.[1]


McKenna began his paleontology career at the Webb School of California (grades 9-12) in Claremont, California, under noted paleontologist and teacher, Raymond Alf. He attended the California Institute of Technology and Pomona College, then graduated in paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also earned his Ph.D.[1]

He was the curator of vertebrate paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Through most of his four decades at the museum, he held a professorship in geosciences at Columbia University.[1]

With Susan K. Bell, he co-authored the 1997 book Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level, a comprehensive work genealogy of Mammalia, including the systematics, relationships, and occurrences of all Mammal taxa, living and extinct, down through the rank of genus.[2] In 1992 he was awarded the Paleontological Society Medal and the Romer-Simpson Medal in 2000, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s highest honor.[1]


McKenna was born in Pomona, California, the son of Bernice and Donald McKenna, a founding trustee of Claremont McKenna College in Southern California.

He was a resident of Englewood, New Jersey, while he was at the American Museum of Natural History. His wife, Priscilla, had served as President of the City Council for many years.[3] A great-grandparent was a cousin of the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.[1]

McKenna's son, Bruce, is a screenwriter whose work has included the television miniseries The Pacific.[4]

McKenna's daughter, Katharine L. McKenna, is an artist living in Woodstock, NY.

Malcolm Carnegie McKenna died on March 3, 2008, in Boulder, Colorado.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Wilford, John Noble (10 March 2008). "Malcolm McKenna, 77, Fossil Seeker, Dies". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ McKenna, Malcolm C.; Bell, Susan K.; Simpson, George Gaylord (1997). Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-11012-9. 
  3. ^ Elliott, Ann Brimacombe (2000). Charming the Bones: A Portrait of Margaret Matthew Colbert. Kent State University Press. p. 80. ISBN 0-87338-648-5. The McKennas were not strictly Leonians. They lived in the next town, Englewood. Malcolm McKenna was a colleague of Ned's, a paleontologist at the American Museum. His wife, Priscilla, played the harpsichord professionally in New York and some years later became mayor of Englewood. 
  4. ^ Rohan, Virginia (March 14, 2010). "Englewood native's work on HBO's The Pacific started in 2002". The Record (Bergen County). Retrieved July 22, 2011. Born 48 years ago today at Englewood Hospital, McKenna always gravitated to history. His late father, Malcolm, was an eminent paleontologist based at New York's American Museum of Natural History. (His mom, Priscilla, who now lives in Boulder, Colo., is a former Englewood City Council president.) 
  5. ^ "Malcolm Carnegie McKenna". Jackson Hole Star Tribune. March 8, 2008. [dead link]

External links[edit]