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Author photo. Vivi Täckholm 1969. Foto: Röster i Radio

Vivi Täckholm 1969. Foto: Röster i Radio

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Vivi Laurent-Täckholm was born in Sweden, the daughter of Wilhelm Edward Laurent, a doctor, and his wife Jenny Bergstrand. She studied botany at the University of Stockholm, from which she graduated in 1921. She traveled alone around the USA in the early 1920s, writing long letters home to her family that were collected in a two-volume book as Vivi's Journey (1923-1924). In 1925, she published a now-classic children's book, Sagan om Snipp, Snapp, Snorum. She married botany professor Gunnar Täckholm in 1926 and moved with him to Egypt, where they researched a major work together on the ancient and modern flowers of Egypt, Flora of Egypt (volume 1 published 1941). It became her life's work after her husband's death 7 years later. She also published other works, including the bestselling novel, Cat (1936). Vivi Laurent-Täckholm returned to Sweden in World War II but went back to Egypt after the war and was named a visiting professor of botany at Cairo University in 1946. Prof. Täckholm devoted most of her career to studying and teaching about the flora of Egypt and served as an inspiration to other botanists for 50 years. She built a modern, well-equipped Botanical Institute at Cairo University and collected an Herbarium that became the largest in Africa with about 100,000 plants from around the world. She died during a visit to Sweden and was buried in Uppsala.
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