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S. Allen Edgar


Samuel Allen Edgar was born February 6, 1916 in Stafford, Kansas. The son of a Presbyterian minister, Dr. Edgar spent part of his childhood in California and part in Kansas. He returned to Kansas to attend Sterling College, where he earned a degree in biology. He later earned a master’s degree from Kansas State University and the Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

As a recognized expert in human pathology and parasitology, Dr. Edgar’s services were in great demand during World War II. After discharge from the Army, Dr. Edgar was appointed as an associate professor in the Poultry Science Department at Auburn in 1947. In 1948, he was on leave by Auburn to work on the control of human filariasis in Tahiti and other islands of French Polynesia.

Dr. Edgar returned to Auburn in 1950 as a full professor. He began working with disease problems of chickens and turkeys. This work led to development of vaccines against Marek’s disease, Newcastle disease, infectious bronchitis, fowl pox, and infectious bursal disease. These developments have played a key role in the expansion of the poultry industry in the Southeast.

In addition to his research program, Dr. Edgar taught thousands of poultry undergraduate students during his 40-year tenure at Auburn. He served as major professor for over 50 graduate students, and many of these Auburn graduates now hold high level positions in government, universities, and the poultry industry.

Though he retired in 1986, Dr. Edgar and his wife, Phyllis, still reside in Auburn. They have two children, Phillip and Susan, and four grandchildren.