Russell, Paul G. (Deceased)
Paul was born on April 24, 1889, in Liverpool, Onondaga County, New York, and came to Washington when his family moved in 1902, graduating from old Central High School. He received an AB degree and an MS degree from George Washington University. In 1909, he was first employed by the Federal Government, reportedly by the National Herbarium, and was collecting in northern Mexico with J. N. Rose and P. C. Standley in 1910, also with J. N. Rose in Argentina, Texas, West Indies in 1913 and Brazil in 1915. He was one of the people involved with the establishment of the Japanese cherries of the Washington Tidal Basin. In 1916, he joined the Department of Agriculture as a seed botanist and became a national authority on identification of plant species by seed alone, building a collection of more than 40,000 vials. He was back doing plant exploration in Mexico in 1927. In 1934, he published the authoritative 72-page U.S. Department of Agriculture bulletin, The Oriental Flowering Cherries, which was revised in 1938. He retired in 1959 at the age of 70. While working on the history of the U.S. Department of Agriculture seed collection he had a fatal heart attack April 3, 1963, in Beltsville, Maryland, just a day before his daughter was to take him to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms. He was elected to the Washington Biologists' Field Club in 1925 and was active to the end of his life.