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Name: RADDATZ, Richard Charles

image of individual

Photo Source: Old Africa magazine 105 Feb-Mar 2023

Birth Date: 1876 Germany

Death Date: 21.2.1937 near Barakitabu en route to Narok

Last Date: 1937

Profession: Expedition to Kenya from American Museum of Natural History

Area: Nairobi

Married: Hannah C. b. 29 Jan 1878 Watseka, Illinois

Children: Evangeline A. (1906 Illinois-1990); Miriam M. (1909-1977); Carl R. (1912); William D. (1914-1987)

Book Reference: Barnes, North

General Information:

Nairobi Forest Road Cemetery - Richard Raddadtz [sic], American, age 60, died 21/2/37
North has Raddatz, German  - accused of killing a slave girl, Zanzibar 14/2/1891 ?
US Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad: Raddatz was a member of the East African Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History.
Was a naturalised US cilizen Aug 1897
Old Africa magazine 105 Feb-Mar 2023: Richard Carl Raddatz was an American taxidermist, a specialist at creating museum displays showing groups of animals.  He started out at the Field Museum  in Chicago before moving to the American Museum of Natural History  in  New York  City, where he was an assistant to Carl Akeley. Raddatz and Akeley both  accompanied  George Eastman  on  his  big  East African safari in 1926. Martin and Osa Johnson, the pioneer wildlife  photographic  team,
helped  to  lead  that  safari. Akeley  died  of a  fever  in the Belgian Congo in 1926, shortly  after the George Eastman safari, and is buried
there. In 1937 Raddatz returned to  Kenya, this time as the taxidermist   for  millionairePhilip Plant, heir to a transportation  empire including    railroads and steamships. Known more as  a  playboy  and  for  his first marriage  to  film  star Constance   Bennett, Plant had  decided  to  secure  a collection of wart hogs for mounting  in  the American Museum of Natural History. One newspaper reported that he would lead the first auto trailer safari across the African veldt. The article went on to say: "Richard C Raddatz of the museum staff will accompany the expedition. The group will hunt ostriches, as well as the wild bunion-headed hogs, for the  museum's Carle Akeley collection." Another newspaper article written in a light-hearted vein, poked fun at this expedition under the  headline:  "What the  U.S.  Needs  is  a Wart Hog." The article pointed out that Plant would be 'roughing it' in his commodious trailer containing mechanical refrigeration and four electric fans, and that his second wife, Edna Dunham, was travelling with him. The article continued: "Richard  C  Raddatz of the museum staff will accompany the exped ition, and guarantees to recognize a wart hog if he sees one. The wart hog has warty excrescences on each side of its face and has two tusks, which curve upward." The night before the wart hog  expedition sailed  for Africa  on 5  January 1937, Plant and his wife were feted at a dinner by members of the Explorers' Club... The expedition  made  its way to  the  plains  beyond Narok,  Kenya, close to the present-day   Maasai   Mara Game  Reserve,  and  were collecting  their  specimens of  wart  hogs  and  ostrich and more.  Raddatz led the
taxidermy team.There is no word how Plant's luxurious trailer  fared  on the  rough roads, except to say it had been left closer to Narok as they made camp deeper in the bush driving in  lorries. But   in   February,   Raddatz began to feel  sick. On 21 February 1937  Plant  was taking Raddatz to Narok for medical help.Here is Plant's letter written to Dr Clark on 22 February1937. "The short history of Mr Raddatz's  case  is this.  On last  Thursday  evening   he complained  at  dinner  that he thought his stomach was upset. I told him to take a cathartic... He died on Sunday 21 February 1937 near Barakitabu near Narok.


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