Profiles of Rocky Mountain Geologists – a continuing series

Hayden annoyed almost everyone he knew at one time or another; he thrived on spiteful controversy.

—Mike Foster, 1994, p. 351

At the period of his greatest success Hayden was always the same unpretentious and enthusiastic seeker for knowledge.

—Edward Drinker Cope, 1888

Had Congress created the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 1877, rather than a year later, Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden (Fig. 1) would likely have become the first director. He was the favorite. If this had happened, Hayden's reputation and prominence today would be completely different.

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