Edward Fred Knipling, was born near Port Lavaca, Texas in 1909. He was the ninth of ten children who grew up on a farm of 150 acres. The family grew cotton and corn, raised cows, hogs, and chickens and produced almost all of their own food.
As a young man working the fields and tending the family livestock, he witnessed the devastating effects of screwworms on living animals and of boll weevils on cotton, as well as that of many other insect pests. His reputation as a keen and thorough observer of nature no doubt started as a boy on the farm.
In college he became interested in entomology while studying agriculture at Texas A and M University. He was struck by the realization of the enormous impact insects had, both good and bad, on the welfare of humanity, not only from the standpoint of food production but also with respect to human health.
Harkening back to his observations on the farm, he also formulated the vision early on of the need to manage insects to prevent damage rather than control the pests or treat their hosts after the damage had already occurred.
My Dad continued his college education at Iowa State University where he met my mother, also a doctoral student in the life sciences. They were married in 1934 and eventually had five children of which I am the third or “middle” one.