Dr. William Conway (1929-2021)
Tribute to the General Director & President Emeritus of the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society
By Jordan Schaul | October 22, 2021
I’m saddened to learn that Dr. Bill Conway passed away yesterday at age 91. The General Director and President Emeritus of the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society. I had the great privilege of knowing him. Conway was a visionary director-scientist and naturalist who bridged in situ and ex situ conservation practices while at the helm of one of the nation’s first conservation organizations. At one time, WCS managed 4 zoological parks, an aquarium, a breeding preserve, and field programs in 50 countries. In many respects, Conway modernized the mission of the modern-day zoo. Dr. Grey Stafford, Sandra Dee Robinson, and I interviewed him for a radio program on November 2, 2010.
In the early 90s and under Conway’s auspices, the New York Zoological Society was ‘rebranded’ as the Wildlife Conservation Society. In addition to its headquarters at the Bronx Zoo, the organization managed the Queens, Central Park, and the Brooklyn (Prospect Park) zoos and the New York Aquarium. Until 1994, the WCS operated Saint Catherine’s Island, a conservation breeding preserve off the coast of Georgia.