Peters, James A. (Deceased)
Jim was born on July 13, 1922, in Durant, Iowa, and was the son of Arthur J. and Jane Terrell Peters. Jim was a student at the University of Illinois from 1941 to 1942, and then received his BS degree from the University of Michigan in 1948, his MA degree in 1950, and his PhD degree in 1952. He was also a postgraduate student at the University of Texas in 1950. On June 18, 1964, Jim married Beatriz Moisset de Espanes and they had one son, Steven. They also raised five children (Jane, Arthur James, Jennifer Laura, Druscilla Anne, and Jeffrey Edward) from a previous marriage of Jim’s. Jim was trained as a biologist. He spent some time teaching as well as working for a museum. Jim was on the faculty of Brown University from 1952 to 1958, working as an assistant professor in biology from 1955 to 1958. In 1958, he went to Quito, Ecuador, as a Fulbright professor. He then moved on to San Fernando Valley State College in Northridge, California, working as an associate professor and then a full professor of biology from 1959 to 1964. At this point Jim turned to working at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. There he was an associate curator from 1964 to 1966 and curator from 1966 to 1972. Jim’s interest in herpetology was reflected by the organizations in which he was involved. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1945. Jim was a fellow of the Herpetologists League and a member of the American Association of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists of which he was president in 1970. Jim was also a member of the Society of the Study of Evolution, the Society of Systematic Zoology, the British Herpetological Society, Herpetological Association of Africa, the Association of Tropical Biology of which he was associate editor from 1969 to 1970, member of the Biological Society of Washington, and member of the Southern California Academy of Scientists. Among the publications that Jim wrote, edited, or compiled are Snakes of the Subfamily Dipsadinae, the Catalogue of Neotropical Squamata, Classic Papers in Genetics, the Dictionary of Herpetology, the Concise American Heritage Dictionary, and Encyclopedia Britannica. Jim was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1939. Jim died on December 18, 1972, and was buried in Greenup, Illinois.