Edward A. Chapin
Ed Chapin grew up with an interest
in insects and natural history. He received a Master of
Science degree in 1917 from Massachusetts State University in
Amherst. Turned down for military service due to a mild
case of childhood polio, he began work for the Bureau of the
Biological Survey in Washington, D. C. He transferred
to the Bureau of Animal Industry in 1920 and then to the Bureau
of Entomology in 1926 where he became a taxonomist in Coleoptera
working at the U. S. National Museum. He became a curator
at the museum in 1934 where he stayed until his retirement in
While a curator at the USNM, he traveled to Colombia in 1942
and 1946, Jamaica in 1937 and 1941, and Chile in 1945.
He was a specialist in the Scarabaeidae, Cleridae, and Coccinellidae.
At the age of 60 he retired and moved to West Medway, Massachusetts;
while there he became an associate of the Museum of Comparative
Zoology at Harvard, working mostly on coccinellids. After
he was 70, he had increasing trouble walking due to the failure
of nerves in his legs; he would often fall suddenly and find
himself helpless. When he was 75, while taking one of
his walks around his extensive property, he apparently fell
and was caught in a grass fire that badly burned him.
He never regained consciousness and died a short time later.
Chapin published 19 papers on Scarabaeidae, and many of these
dealt with the fauna of the West Indies.
Muesebeck, C.F.W., R.D. Gordon and B.D. Burks. 1971.
Edward Albert Chapin. Proceedings of the Entomological
Society of Washington 73: 99-104.