USGS - science for a changing world

Patuxent Wildlife Research Center


Remington Kellogg

Arthur Remington Kellogg (he soon dropped his first name) was born in Davenport, Iowa, on October 5, 1892 to Clara Louise (Martin) and Rolla Remington Kellogg. When Remington Kellogg was 6 years old, the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he grew up. In his spare time outside of school, Kellogg would study wildlife in the nearby woods and had prepared a small collection of birds and mammals by the time of his high school graduation.

Kellogg's interest in natural history collections led him to the University of Kansas where he studied entomology and later mammalogy. From 1913 to 1916, he was a taxonomic assistant under Charles D. Bunker, the curator of birds and mammals in the Museum of Natural History at the university. Kellogg received his A.B. and M.A. in 1915 and 1916 respectively. In the winter of 1915-1916, Kellogg worked for the Biological Survey in southeastern Kansas and, the following summer, in North Dakota. In the fall of 1916, Remington moved to Berkeley to study marine mammals at the University of California Berkeley.

In 1917 during World War I, Kellogg enlisted in the Army and was stationed in France. During this time he still found time to collect specimens which he sent back to Berkeley and the University of Kansas. After being discharged in July of 1919, Kellogg returned to Berkeley to complete his doctorate, transferring from zoology to study vertebrate paleontology under Merriam.

At the request of John C. Merriam, Kellogg was given a teaching fellowship and studied fossil pinnipeds, publishing his first important papers on the subject in 1920 and 1921. In 1921 he became assistant biologist for the Biological Survey based in Washington DC, where he worked for the next eight years. He focused primarily with studying toads, the feeding habits of hawks and owls, and the fossilized marine mammals of Calvert Cliffs in Maryland. He added considerably to the collections created by previous expeditions to Calvert Cliffs and used the experience he gained as the basis for his Ph.D thesis, entitled The History of Whales - Their Adaptation to Life in the Water. In his thesis, he studied the specializations needed for mammalian organs to adjust to life in water.

In 1928 Kellogg became assistant curator at the United States National Museum and in 1941 became curator. In 1948 he was appointed director of the Museum and later in 1958 was made assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1951.

His Ph.D thesis had established him as an authority on cetaceans, and with concern growing for whale protection, in 1930 he was invited to speak at a conference on whaling held by the League of Nations. This experience led to other conferences and Kellogg was appointed as a US delegate to the International Conference on Whaling held in London in 1937, which resulted in the first protection for whales, the International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling. Kellogg was head of the US delegation in two additional conferences in 1944 and 1945 and was chairman of the 1946 conference, after which he became the US commissioner on International Whaling Commission from1949 to 1967. He served as vice-chairman of the Commission from 1949 to 1951 and chairman from 1952 to 1954.

After retiring in 1962, Kellogg continued to work, publishing nine papers on fossil marine mammals between 1965 and 1969. He died of a heart attack at his home in Washington in May of 1969.

Resources for this biography include:

Frank C. Whitmore, Jr. (1975). "Remington Kellogg". Biographical Memoirs V.46. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). pp. 159-174.
Unknown. A. Remington Kellogg. Digital image. Smithsonian Institution Archives. Smithsonian Institution, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo
U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster

NABPP NPN Transcribe Facebook