David Allan Young, Jr. (1915 - 1991), a professor of entomology at NC State, specialized in leafhoppers and has been described by colleagues and students as a wise, encouraging scholar with a great sense of humor. He was born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, while he was in high school. He received a B.A. in natural science from the University of Louisville in 1939. While working toward an M.S. in entomology at Cornell University, Young taught science in the Louisville public schools from 1939 to 1941. Immediately after graduating from Cornell, he joined the U.S. Army. After World War II, he taught in the Department of Biology at the University of Louisville until 1948, when he entered a Ph.D. program at the University of Kansas. He received his doctorate in entomology in 1950. Following graduation, Young worked as an insect taxonomist in the United States National Museum in Washington, D.C. After joining the faculty at NC State in 1957 as an associate professor, he continued his systematic research on leafhoppers, administered the university insect collection, and taught graduate level courses. He was promoted to professor in 1961 and retired in 1980. After his retirement, Young continued to work and completed his long-term study of the subfamily Cicadellinae (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) in 1986.
Young enjoyed an active professional career. He became a fellow of the Washington Academy of Sciences, was a member of the Entomological Society of Washington, the Entomological Society of America, the North Carolina Entomological Society, the Society of Systematic Zoology, the Sociedad Entomológica Agrícola del Perú, the Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil, and Sigma Xi. Young's scholarship helped to show that leafhoppers were one of the largest families of insects. During his career, Young described 807 new cicadellid species, 7 new subspecies, 207 new genera, 6 new subgenera, and a new tribe. Evidence also indicates that Young contributed, together with Virginia Wade, to the publication of Professor Zeno P. Metcalf's series General Catalogue of the Homoptera after Metcalf's death.
His dedication to entomology helped NC State develop one of the top-ranked departments of entomology and established the NCSU Libraries as a leading repository for entomological works through the acquisition of the Tippmann Collection.
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