Frederick Allen Aldrich, AB, M.Sc., PhD, was born in Butler, New Jersey, on May 1, 1927. Following the award of his doctorate in marine biology and physiology from Rutgers University, he served for seven years as curator of invertebrates at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
Fred Aldrich began his career at Memorial University in 1961 as an associate professor of Biology. In 1963 he became head of the department, a position he held for four years. During his tenure he spearheaded the construction of the Marine Sciences Research Laboratory at Logy Bay, accepting appointment as its first director in 1967. He also served as a chairman of the Senate Committee on Graduate Studies, and in 1970 was appointed as Memorial University's first dean of graduate studies. He held this position for 17 years, and accepted a new appointment in 1987 as chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Ocean Studies which advised memorial University on its future role in marine research.
No biographical sketch of Fred Aldrich would be complete without reference to his research on the giant squid, and it is perhaps in this area that he will be best remembered. In the mid-1960s he launched a campaign to obtain data on the giant squid, resulting in 15 specimens over the next decade. Mention must also be made of his "Sciencefare" columns, which appeared regularly in the Memorial University "Gazette" from 1975 to 1991, celebrating the curiosity of science.
Whether building a marine lab or founding a graduate school, Fred Aldrich found time to purse his first love, teaching. From the time of his arrival at Memorial he taught at least one graduate and undergraduate course each academic year, and supervised a total of 23 honors, masters and PhD students. His most prized award was the designation as Distinguished University Teacher of Biology.
At the time of his death on July 12, 1991, Fred Aldrich was the Moses Harvey Professor of Marine Biology, a named chair created for him in 1990.