S. Dillon Ripley served as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1964 to 1984, the institution’s most significant period of expansion, for which service he received a Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also helped found the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Smithsonian magazine. In his scholarly work, Ripley was an ornithologist, and held degrees in zoology from Yale and Harvard. He was a fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union, a board member of the World Wildlife Fund, and the third president of the International Council for Bird Preservation. Ripley published six books, including four about birds and other wildlife.