John J. Craighead, American wildlife scientist, Died at 100

John Johnson Craighead was born on August 14, 1916, in Washington, D.C and died on September 18, 2016.

His twin brother Frank Cooper Craighead, Jr. was born on August 14, 1916, and died on October 21, 2001.

They were American conservationists, naturalists, and researchers.

Together, they made important contributions to the study of falconry and grizzly bear biology.

Both brothers started collecting and identifying animals and plants they found alongside the Potomac, and soon expanded their interests to birds and hawks, going west in 1934 to begin studying falconry.

When the war was over, they were employed as survival trainers, they married and resumed their work in falconry.

In the 1950s they expanded their work to other animals, including many species living in and around Yellowstone, and eventually separated.

During 1959 their careers merged again, this time to begin a 12-year study of grizzly bears in Yellowstone, as the animals were considered threatened by increased human activity; but a 1971 disagreement with the National Park Service ended their Yellowstone studies; however it continued elsewhere in Montana, including the Scapegoat Wilderness.

Following 1976 their work was mostly confined to field guides and educating the public about environmentalism; however, field ecology continued until Frank’s death in 2001 from Parkinson’s disease.

Margaret Smith was John’s wife, a mountain climber and daughter of a Grand Teton Park ranger.

John died in South Missoula.

John J. Craighead passed away at 100 years old.