:: OBITUARY-Jerome Francis Harrington

Jerome Francis Harrington

Born in Spokane, Washington on January 6, 1921, he was the son of Jerome Joseph Harrington and Margaret Louise Humason Harrington. He was the grandson of Cornelius and Mary Harrington, a pioneering family who homesteaded in the Spokane Valley in the 1880s. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1944 with a B.S. in Agronomy. He served as Rifle Platoon Leader in the 71st Division during World War II. Subsequently, Mr. Harrington joined Dole Hawaiian Pineapple in Hawaii, leaving to attend Harvard Business School where he received his M.B.A. in 1950.

Mr. Harrington was President of IRI Research Institute, an international agricultural research and development organization initially funded by David and Nelson Rockefeller. In keeping with the philosophy of its founders, Mr. Harrington led the company in its efforts to increase agricultural production and the general standard of living in the developing world. Under Mr. Harrington’s direction, IRI established what the USDA has called the largest collection of tropical legumes in the world. Other noteworthy projects resulted in the reorganization of the agricultural research institute in Spain and the establishment of one of the first animal nutrition centers in Brazil.

The significant economic, social and environmental impact of IRI’s programs were recognized by honors including the “Pioneers of the Cerrado” award and the 2006 World Food Prize for breakthrough research in the 1950s for agricultural development of the Campo Cerrado in Brazil. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug called the development of the Campo Cerrado “one of the great achievements of agricultural science in the 20th century, which has transformed a wasteland into one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world.”

In 1996, Mr. Harrington was awarded the Emil M. Mrak International Award by the University of California.

Mr. Harrington is survived by his wife Barbara; his daughters Betsy, Kathy and Joan; his grandchildren Jenna and Nicola Hasan, Frederick, Ashley and Krysten Hartman, and Samantha, Danielle and Jay Fuchs; and his sister Claire.


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