Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 1991


Published in Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 74, No. 11, 1991.


Charles R. Henderson was proud to be a product of a farm in Page County, Iowa. He was a one man track team in Coin, Iowa, and a brilliant student. He became a world class competitor in track at Iowa State College and, at the same time, compiled a top academic record. His early experiences set the stage for the exceptional contributions of his animal breeding career, which did not begin until he was nearly 40 yr of age, but which spanned 40 yr when he was the acknowledged leader in development of statistical methodology applied to animal breeding. His career goals were to find the best possible ways to analyze data and to provide the best genetic evaluations to the livestock industry. If the best could not be done because of computational limitations, then he would pragmatically work to find the best way that was possible.

Only his interest in Cornell hockey overshadowed his enjoyment in listening to classical music. He was an avid sports fan, especially for the St. Louis Cardinals or any midwestern team against the New York Yankees. Midwestern trips during the weeks when the Drake Relays were held were as often as possible. Henderson’s acknowledged scientific hero was Jay L. Lush, with whom he studied during his Ph.D. program at Iowa State College and with whom he shared similar talents and the intuition that made both of them leaders in the field of animal breeding.