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Mather, Stephen Tyng

Mather, Stephen Tyng, 1867–1930, American industrialist and environmentalist, b. San Francisco, grad. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1887. He began working for the Pacific Coast Borax Company in the 1890s, and is credited with originating the advertising slogan 20 Mule Team Borax. In 1904 he cofounded the Thorkildsen-Mather Borax Company, which made him a millionaire and allowed him to pursue other interests. Involved with the Sierra Club and concerned for the preservation of wilderness areas, he became a persuasive advocate for the creation (1916) of the National Park Service. As the agency's founding director (1917–29), he oversaw the near-doubling of the area of the national parks and monuments and established policies for the future development and management of the park system.

See biography by R. Shankland (rev. ed. 1970) H. Albright and M. A. Schenck, Creating the National Park Service: The Missing Years (1999).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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