Ernest Thompson Seton

Ernest Thompson Seton

Inducted 1968

Ernest Thompson Seton was a naturalist who wrote and sketched pictures of his own references. He was a writer who thrilled readers with his animal stories, and a frontiersman who was recognized by Native Americans as an expert on their own religions. Seton was also a father, whose hopes for his son's future inspired the movement that became the Boy Scouts.

Most famous for his scientific and literary accomplishments, Seton used his knowledge to breathe the fire of life into the animals he wrote about. His best-known work, the multi-volume Wild Animals I Have Known, builds on his experiences, studies, and observations of North American wildlife. His romantic tales of the natural world inspired Rudyard Kipling's famous Jungle Book.

As a scientist, Seton spent a decade compiling the four-volume Lives of Game Animals, which included 1,500 of his own illustrations. His illustrations took central stage in Art Anatomy, which showed "the visible forms and proportions of the living animal."

Seton looked for other outlets for his interest in nature as his writing fame and fortune grew. In 1902 he wrote a 400-page instruction booklet for a youth group which he called the Woodcraft Indians. In England, the idea became the Boy Scouts and came back to the United States with Seton as co-founder and chief scout. A genius-naturalist, Seton portrayed life as he saw it - in bold, living colors and words. He made the natural world come alive before the very eyes of millions. 

Back to Past Inductees 

Get Our E-Newsletter 
Subscribe to National Wildlife Magazine!