David G. Hall, Jr., ESA Fellow (1941)
David Goodsell Hall, Jr. (deceased 11 February 1986), a retired entomologist at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), was elected Fellow in 1941. He was well known for his work on Diptera of forensic and medical importance.
Hall was born in 1903 and grew up in Ohio. He spent summers scouting for European corn borers, Ostrinia nubilalis, while attending the Cleveland School of Art. He created scientific illustrations for J.S. Hine, who along with others, encouraged Hall to combine his skills with the study of biology and taxonomy at Ohio State University, where he graduated in 1926 with a B.S. He subsequently secured an assistant entomologist position at the University of Arkansas, working on horse flies (Tabanidae) and taught entomology, until he refused to change the failing grade of a football player. Leaving Arkansas, he obtained an M.S. in entomology from Kansas State in 1929 and joined the USDA's Bureau of Entomology as assistant entomologist, was promoted in 1935 to associate entomologist, then entomologist in 1946. During WWII (1942–1946), he served as a medical entomologist in the U.S. Army, concentrating on Keys to the Anopheline Mosquitoes of the World, and working on control of malarial infections by judicious location of military bases. He moved to administrative roles in Insect Pest Survey Information starting in 1948, when bilateral cataracts prevented further microscope work, and from 1954 through his retirement in 1968, he was chief of the Publications Branch of USDA-Agricultural Research Service. After retirement, he retained a position as cooperating scientist with the Insect Identification and Beneficial Insect Introduction Service from 1968–1978.
Hall's career in the USDA would find him working extensively on Diptera of medical and economic importance such as eye gnats in the genus Hippelates, the first to rear, describe, and illustrate all of its life stages; salt marsh sand fly (Culicoides) in the southeastern U.S., leading to selective destruction of their breeding habitats (increasing real estate development opportunities); and work on revisions of North American bot flies (Oestridae), Calliphoridae, and Sarcophagidae. He also improved sampling and control methods using light, including several firsts: a study of the use of black lights in insect surveys, employing incandescent yellow lights to repel insects, and designing a light trap for municipal mosquito control. As part of his work with the Division of Insect Identification at the Smithsonian, he pioneered the use of punch cards to rapidly retrieve data for identifications. Hall, the only Army entomologist to be awarded the Legion of Merit in WWII, designed equipment to distribute DDT from C-47 aircraft to aid in the suppression of dengue in the Pacific.
Through his personal acquaintance, Hall encouraged Walt Disney to include insects in his feature films. An ESA member from 1929 until his death, Hall was also active in numerous other honorary and professional societies. He was most noted for his leading role in the 1954 award-winning function "Centennial of Professional Entomology."
Hall was married to Pauline, with whom he had two sons and six grandchildren.
(updated, May 2015)