Zoologist and educator Charles Henry Turner (February 3, 1867—February 14, 1923) is known for his work with insects and numerous animal behavioral experiments. Turner was the first to demonstrate that insects can hear and learn. He was also the first to demonstrate that honey bees have color vision and distinguish patterns.
Charles Henry Turner was born in 1867 to Thomas Turner and Addie Campbell Turner in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father worked as a custodian in a church and his mother was a nurse. The couple were avid readers, who owned hundreds of books and encouraged their son to learn and discover more about the world around him. As a young boy, Turner was fascinated by insects and was curious about their behaviors. After graduating as class valedictorian from Gaines High School, he enrolled in the University of Cincinnati in 1886.
Turner married Leontine Troy in 1887. The couple had three children during the marriage: Henry, Darwin, and Louisa Mae. While at the University of Cincinnati, Turner majored in biology and went on to earn his B.S. (1891) and M.S. (1892) degrees. In doing so, he became the first African American to earn a graduate degree from the University of Cincinnati.
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