John A. Mulrennan, Sr.: an entomology pioneer of Florida


  • John A. Mulrennan, Jr. Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired)


entomologist, mosquito, sand fly



The honors John A. Mulrennan, Sr. received during and after his illustrious career are a testament to his extraordinary success and the esteem in which he was held by his peers. A mosquito and a sand fly species bear his name in international scientific nomenclature. He served as president of the American Mosquito Control Association, State Public Health Vector Control Association, Florida Anti-Mosquito Association, Florida Entomological Society, and Florida Public Health Association, and was the first chairman of the United States and Territorial Vector Control Conference. He received the Meritorious Service Award from the Florida Public Health Association and was installed in their “Hall of Memory.” He also was awarded “Florida’s Man of the Year in Entomology” in 1974 by the Florida Entomological Society (Florida Entomologist 58: 121–123, 1975). However, the tribute he cherished most was the Honorary Doctor of Science degree bestowed by his alma mater, the University of Florida, in 1972 (Fig. 4). He loved the “Gators” and was a diehard fan for many years before his passing. In his Presidential Address to the Florida Public Health Association in 1955, Dr. Mulrennan, Sr. (Fig. 5) made the following statement that summarizes his philosophy of life: “If you have faith in the mission to which you have dedicated yourself for suffering humanity—then, with your technical knowledge you will be able to open wide the eyes, minds, and hearts of all mankind to the fact that public health is the preservation of the human body. Our responsibility is one of supreme importance when we realize that the human body is the most sacred of all temples—for therein dwells a soul which on that final day must give its accounting for its stewardship on this earth.”


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