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National Rivers Hall of Fame Inductees

Hall of Fame inductees are the pioneers, explorers and artists in America's river history. They were movers and shakers from the days gone by and the recent past. These men and women made significant contributions related to America’s rivers, which is why we honor them.


The Artists, Writers, and Musicians

John James Audubon

Inducted in 1990

John James Audubon is hailed as the father of American ornithology, and he left a legacy of science and beauty recognized throughout the world. Audubon traveled virtually all of the major rivers of eastern North America, painting birds, collecting specimens and taking copious notes on flora and fauna. His Birds of America is one of the crowning achievements of 19th-century art and natural history. Likewise, his Ornithological Biographies shows Audubon’s enormous talent as an observer of nature.

Audubon was also a highly-skilled frontiersman, equally at home among native tribes, keelboaters and trappers alike. He chronicled the early navigation of the Mississippi, the frontier lore of hunting and fishing, and the bird life if the Mississippi, Ohio, Red, St. John’s and numerous other rivers. His last field trip was an expedition up the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in 1843. John Audubon’s legacy includes one of the most powerful conservation movements in history – The National Audubon Society.