Gilbert H. Grosvenor
28 October 1875
Great-Grandson of Asa Waters II
Chairman of the Board, National
Gilbert Grosvenor is best known as president of the
National Geographic Society and long-time editor of the
National Geographic Magazine.
Grosvenor’s connection to the Town of Millbury is that he
was the great-grandson of Asa Waters II; thus he was also first
cousin to William Howard Taft, U.S. President and U.S.
Supreme Court Justice.
A noted geographer and world traveler, Grosvenor's first
trip to the western United States was on Mather's "Big Trip" to
Sequoia National Park and the High Sierras in 1915.
Affectionately called the "Tenderfoot" by other party members,
Grosvenor was so overwhelmed by the grandeur of the High
Sierras and his experience on the trip that he became a revered
and long-time friend of Mather and the national parks.
Following his return from the "Trip," Grosvenor provided
$20,000 of National Geographic Society funds to supplement a
$50,000 congressional appropriation to buy Giant Forest and
add it to Sequoia National Park.
In late 1915 and 1916, Grosvenor met with Mather,
Albright, and others to develop the substance of the NPS
Organic Act. He dedicated the April 1916 issue of National
Geographic Magazine to the national parks to further promote
the values of park resources to the American public. Horace
Albright ensured that every member of Congress received a
copy of the April edition as the Organic Act legislation was
Following the establishment of the National Park Service,
Grosvenor's support and love for the Service continued. The
Society's interest in protecting the Katmai volcanic crater and
Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes from mining exploitation led to
the establishment of Katmai National Monument in 1918. Over
the years, articles in the magazine have continued to educate
the public to the values found in national parks and the need to
protect additional lands for future generations.