March 22, 2023

Ynes Mexia (Mexican-American Botanist) Bio, Wiki, Age, Husband, Children, Google Doodle, Cause of Death (Lung Cancer)

Ynés Mexía Bio, Wiki

Ynés Enriquetta Julietta Mexía was born on May 24th, 1870 and died on July 12th, 1938. She was a Mexican-American botanist known for her collection of novel plant specimens from areas of Mexico and South America. Mexía discovered a new genus of Compositae and was arguably the most accomplished plant collector of her time.

Today on September 15th, 2019 Google is celebrating the Mexican-American botanist and explorer Ynes Mexía In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Ynés Mexía Quick Facts

Born: She was born on May 24th, 1870, in Washington, D.C., United States
Died: She died on July 12th, 1938 in Berkeley, California, United States
Education: University of California, Berkeley
Citizenship: Mexico, then United States
Field: Botany

Ynés Mexía Parents, Siblings

Ynes Mexia was born in Washington, D.C. on May 24th, 1870 to her Mexican diplomat father, Enrique Mexia, and Sarah Wilmer. Her parents broke up in 1873 when Ynés was three years old, and her father went back to Mexico City. Her mother took the children, including Ynés and six others from a previous marriage, and moved to Limestone County on an eleven-league grant that became the site of present-day Mexia, Texas.

Ynés Mexía Education

Ynes Mexia grew up in Texas and received her secondary education in private schools in Philadelphia and Ontario, Canada. Her early education began at the age of 15, at Saint Joseph’s Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She later relocated to Mexico City, where she lived at the family hacienda for 10 years and took care of her father, who died in 1896. Mexia aspired to become a nun, but her father’s will stipulated that if she did, she would be cut out of the inheritance she shared with a stepsister. She and her stepsister fought over the money with her father’s mistress and a stepbrother.

Ynés Mexía Husband(S)

Mexia married Herman de Laue, a Spanish-German merchant, in 1897. Their brief marriage ended upon his death in 1904. Her second marriage, to D. Augustin Reygados, 16 years her junior, was also short-lived. He badly mismanaged her poultry business while she received medical treatment in San Francisco, leading her to divorce him in 1908.

Ynés Mexía Career

Mexia began a career as a social worker in San Francisco after her marriage to Reygados ended. In 1921, she matriculated at the University of California, Berkeley, motivated by trips with the Sierra Club, where a botany class sparked her interest in the field; she never received a degree.

Mexia was a social worker before entering the University of California as a special student at the age of 51. There she developed an enthusiasm for botany, and in 1925 she began a series of journeys to remote locations in South and Central America and Alaska. On those travels she collected some 150,000 botanical specimens, finding one new genus of Compositae (Mexianthus mexicanus) and more than 500 new species of plants, many of which were named in her honour.

Ynés Mexía Google Doodle

Today on September 15th, 2019 Google is clebrating the Mexican-American botanist and explorer Ynes Mexía In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. The Doodle page credits Mexia for braving earthquakes, bogs, and poisonous berries to reach a remote volcano on the border of Colombia and Ecuador—all for the sake of botanical discoveries. “We started on the long journey back,” she wrote after collecting samples of the rare wax palm, “very tired, very hot, very dirty, but very happy.”

94 years ago and on this date in 1925, Mexía embarked on her first plant collection trip, travelling with a group from Stanford University to Sinaloa, Mexico in search of rare botanical species. The 55-year-old had joined the local Sierra Club just a few years earlier, enrolling in special classes at UC Berkeley soon after. Despite falling off a cliff and fracturing her hand and some ribs, Mexía brought home around 500 specimens—50 of them previously undiscovered.

According to the doodle, More than 90 years after she started, scientists are still studying Mexía’s samples, which are now housed in a number of major institutions around the world.

The Doodle was creted courtesy of Los Angeles-based guest artist Loris Lora.

Ynés Mexía Google Doodle
Ynés Mexía Google Doodle

Ynés Mexía Death & Cause (Lung Cancer)

Mexia died in Berkeley on July 12th, 1938, from lung cancer after falling ill on a collecting trip to Mexico.