SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – On what would have been her 100th birthday, officials with the United States Postal Service unveiled its newest forever stamp in honor and memory of marine biologist Dr. Eugenie Clark.
Dr. Clark was the founding director of Mote Marine Lab and Aquarium. Many knew her as the “Shark Lady.”
Dr. Michael P. Crosby, the president and CEO of Mote, described Eugenie as a trailblazer in a number of ways.
“One could say she was a trailblazer for women. When you think about it, when she started pursuing her degrees, nobody in the field looked like Genie, women didn’t do that,” said Dr. Crosby. “She was a young, Japanese-American woman in the mid-1900s here in America and she began to crack glass ceilings, but then really broke through them with her accomplishments.”
Dr. Clark created the lab back in 1955. Back then, it was called the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory.
“When you think about Mote Marine Laboratory as a global powerhouse for very innovative marine research and science education, it is all built upon pillars that Genie really established 67 years ago,” said Dr. Crosby.
The three pillars are passion, partnership and philanthropy.
Dr. Clark’s family was at Mote during the unveiling Wednesday morning, surrounded by countless from across the nation who either knew Eugenie or admired her lifelong work in marine science.
“It is hard to believe that mom would have been 100 years old today. She was always very young at heart. It is a very special honor to have a stamp in her name,” said Dr. Clark’s daughter, Aya Konstantinou.
USPS gets approximately 30,000 stamp submissions each year. They typically choose between 25 and 30.
“Obviously, her work speaks for itself – her larger-than-life personality and contributions to the marine environment, the contributions to diversity and to marine biology,” USPS VP of Delivery Angela Curtis said.
USPS printed 18 million Eugenie Clark stamps to be sold across the nation.