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sharikendrick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Edward Flanders Robb Ricketts was born in 1897 in Chicago. Ricketts attended Illinois State Normal University and the University of Chicago, taking classes in zoology and philosophy.

In 1923, Ricketts and a friend opened Pacific Biological Laboratories, which supplied specimens to schools. Ricketts eventually became the lab's sole owner. Ricketts' lab became known as a meeting place for writers and scholars.

In 1930, Ricketts met and befriended writer John Steinbeck. Ricketts became the inspiration for many of the characters in Steinbeck's works.

In 1939, Ricketts published an ecological handbook about intertidal marine life titled Between Pacific Tides. This handbook is still used by many universities today.

During the 1940s, Ricketts developed indices of marine life specimens and produced an in-depth study of sardines. He combined metaphysics and the scientific method to develop a more holistic way of thinking about and describing the world.

In 1948, Ricketts died as the result of a car collision with a train.

In addition to significantly influencing the writings of John Steinbeck, Ed Ricketts inspired future generations of marine biologists and influenced the environmental movement in America.

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