March 9, 1908-September 28, 1979


Kenneth David Roeder was born in Richmond, a suburb of London, England, on March 9, 1908. His father, Carl David Roeder, grew up in Germany and was of Scots and German parentage; his mother, Grace (Phillips) Roeder, spent her childhood in Australia, her parents having migrated there from England.

His first school was Bruce Payne School in Bishops Stortford, Essex, where his education was strict and formal. From there he advanced to Bembridge School, Isle of Wight. The headmaster, Mr. Howard Whitehouse, who was a Ruskin enthusiast, active in the Liberal Party, and interested in American education, made this school a happy compromise between British and American systems and awakened Roeder's interest in ideas and pleasure in working with his hands. He leaned toward physics and chemistry through the enthusiasm of a science teacher, Mr. E. J. Baggaley. In 1926 he entered St. John's College, Cambridge University, and received the degrees of B.A. (1929) and M.A. (1933). He was awarded an honorary doctor of science from Tufts University in 1952.

As a child he had become "imprinted" on insects, and at the age of ten, learning from his father the joys of collecting insects and surgaring for moths, he amassed a large

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement