Lytt Irvine Gardner, Sr.

Lytt I. Gardner, Herbarium Collector

Photograph of Lytt Gardner, M.D. from the Lytt I. Gardner, M.D. Papers,
courtesy of Archives & Special Collections at Upstate Medical University

(b. 1917 – d. 1986)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU) has cataloged only three fungi collected by Lytt Gardner, though as our collections continue to be cataloged more may be found. All specimens found thus far were collected in the area around Highlands, Macon County, North Carolina in the summer of 1940. It is possible that Gardner took a summer class at the Highlands Biological Station and collected specimens as part of his studies.

Lytt Gardner was born in Reidsville, Rockingham County, North Carolina. He earned both his B.A. and M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1938 and 1940 respectively, and was inducted in to Phi Beta Kappa.

According to the Archives & Special Collections at the SUNY Upstate Medical University Health Sciences Library which curates Dr. Gardner’s papers, Lytt Gardner earned “his M.D. in 1943 from Harvard Medical School, and completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. During World War II, he served with the medical corps and reached the rank of captain. He was the officer in charge of a shock team for a M.A.S.H. [Mobile Army Surgical Hospital] unit and with the 2nd auxiliary surgical group and 32nd field hospital in Italy and later served as the chief of the laboratory of the 248th general hospital in Manila, Philippines. For his service at the Po Valley offensive in 1945, he received two battle stars and a field commendation. He was a poet and photographer, and during that offensive, he was able to capture a rare moment on color film of a German medical officer and his corpsmen receiving instructions in medical techniques from an American medical officer.. He left a faculty position at John Hopkins University School of Medicine to be a Professor of Pediatrics at SUNY Upstate Medical University in 1952. Amongst many other honors, he was President of the Society for Pediatric Research in 1962-1963, the national chairman of the physicians medical forum, a fellow of the national humanities center in 1980-1981, and received a medal from the Catholic University of Chile in 1981, the William Hammond Award and Citation for Distinguished Service from the Medical Society of the State of New York in 1981, and the E. Mead Johnson Award for Pediatric Research of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1961 for his work in the field of physiology and biochemistry of the adrenal glands before his death in 1986.”(1)

Dr. Gardner died on 15 July 1986 in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York.

1.  The Lytt I. Gardner MD Papers, Archives and Special Collections in the Health Sciences Library, SUNY Upstate Medical University.