Great-grandson of Alexander Graham Bell capturing Elephants in Ceylon

Great-grandson of Alexander Graham Bell capturing Elephants in Ceylon

Gilbert Melville Grosvenor, a prolific photographer is the great-grandson of Alexander Graham Bell. Born on May 5, 1931 in Washington, D.C., Grosvenor, became president and chairman of the National Geographic Society after having served as the editor of National Geographic Magazine. In 2011, he retired after 23 years as Chairman of the Society.

He received a B.A. in psychology from Yale University in 1954. Between his junior and senior years, he volunteered in the Netherlands in efforts to recover from the North Sea flood of 1953 and co-authored an article that was published in the National Geographic. “Although I’m not sure I realized it at the time, it changed my life,” Grosvenor recently recalled. “I discovered the power of journalism. And that’s what we are all about—recording those chronicles of planet Earth.” He subsequently joined the staff of the magazine as a picture editor.

In 1970, Grosvenor assumed the position of editor of National Geographic Magazine. He served as editor until 1980, when he became president of the National Geographic Society. Since his retirement in 1996, he has served as chairman of the board of trustees of the Society as well as an honorary director of The Explorers Club.

He has received 14 honorary doctorates and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 for his leadership in geography education. “As the world grows smaller and more interdependent daily, our country’s future absolutely depends on our ability to see the connections between ourselves and our global neighbors,” Grosvenor told an interviewer recently.

In 1996, Grosvenor was awarded a Gold Medal by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Scottish Geographical Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

Grosvenor was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, by President George W. Bush on June 23, 2004.

Nishan is a raconteur and a lover of art, history and architecture. His journey began more than 30 years ago when he started collecting and saving copies of publications which captured significant moments in Sri Lankan history. He intends to digitize the contemporary Sri Lankan history even in a smaller way through The Archives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *