John James Audubon
An artist and naturalist, John James Audubon was one of the first to study and paint American birds in their natural surroundings. Born in the West Indies in 1785 and educated in France, Audubon came to America at 18 and failed in several business ventures. In 1820 Audubon began his classic work, Birds of America, a book of 435 hand-colored engravings prepared from his wildlife paintings.He died in 1851.

Image: LIbrary of Congress