William C. Boyd

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William C. Boyd
Born March 04, 1903
Dearborn, Missouri
Died February 19, 1983
Nationality United States
Alma mater Harvard University (1925)
Boston University (Ph.D. 1930)
Known for Blood type, Lectin
Scientific career
Fields Immunologist
Institutions Boston University School of Medicine (1926-1968)
The "Boyd Ellanby" novella "The Star Lord" was the cover story for the June 1953 issue of Imagination
Another "Boyd Ellanby" story, "Pariah Girl" was cover-festured on the April 1957 issue of Super-Science Fiction

William Clouser Boyd (March 4, 1903 - February 19, 1983) was an American immunochemist. In the 1930s, with his wife Lyle, he made a worldwide survey of the distribution of blood types.


Born in Dearborn, Missouri,[1] Boyd was educated at Harvard and Boston University. His career led to appointment as Professor of Immunochemistry at Boston University.

Boyd's signal contribution was to discover that human blood groups are inherited and not influenced by environment. By genetic analysis of blood groups he hypothesized that human races are populations that differ by alleles. On that basis, he divided the world population into 13 geographically distinct races with different blood group gene profiles. In 1955, Boyd co-published the book Races and People with Isaac Asimov; they were both then professors at Boston University School of Medicine.

Later, Boyd coined the term 'lectin'.[2] He also studied the blood groups of mummies.

Boyd also wrote and published several science fiction short stories in collaboration with Lyle G. Boyd under the name "Boyd Ellanbee" (obviously standing for "Boyd, L and B", for Lyle and Bill).

Boyd's papers were donated to the National Library of Medicine by Mrs. Cassandra Boyd in 1983.[3]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Races and People, by Isaac Asimov and William C Boyd, 1955.
  • Genetics and the races of man: An introduction to modern physical anthropology, William C Boyd, 1950.


  1. ^ Peter D'Adamo, ed. - The individualist - William Boyd
  2. ^ William C. Boyd (1954). Neurath, H.; Bailey, K., eds. The Proteins. New York, NY: Academic Press. pp. 755–844. 
  3. ^ "William C. Boyd Papers 1944-1983 (bulk 1944-1950)". National Library of Medicine. 

External links[edit]