Birthplace: New Bedford, Mass.
After seven years as a clerk in New York City, he and two brothers founded a shipping company in which he worked for the next 25 years. He retired in 1850 to devote himself to Arctic explorations, financing two himself. He helped found then preside over, from 1862–63, the American Geographical and Statistical Society. Grinnell Land, or Peninsula, in Canada's Northwest Territories, and a genus of red algae (Grinnellia) are named after him.Died: 1874