Friday, November 06, 2009


I know some of my adoring fans might expect to see more public sculptures in the regular feature of St. Louis Friday Series. Just to be a little different this week, I am posting photos of statue of Marlin Perkins in Central Park in Carthage, Missouri. The sculpture was created by Bob Tommey & Bill Snow honoring the most famous Carthaginian who was a well-known zoologist and television personality.
Here is Perkins' bio as listed in the Wild Kingdom website, "Perkins began his zoo career in 1926, literally working from the ground up with the St. Louis Zoological Gardens. He was put to work on the Zoo's laborer crew, where he helped maintain the Zoo grounds. Perkins quickly rose through the Zoo's ranks, becoming curator of reptiles in 1928. In 1944, following seven years as curator of the New York Zoo in Buffalo, N.Y., Perkins was appointed director of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Under Perkins' direction, the Zoo became internationally known, in part from the Zoo Parade television series, which ran on NBC from 1949-1957.
Perkins' career came full circle in 1962, when he returned to the St. Louis Zoo as its director. He became director emeritus of the Zoo in 1970. It was during Perkins' tenure with the St. Louis Zoo that he, along with producer Don Meier, began work on an idea for a new television program. Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom" debuted on January 6, 1963, and was in original production for 27 years."
What an interesting life Mr. Perkins had - I sure will think of him whenever I visit St. Louis Zoo.

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