Chandler, Asa Crawford (1891–1958)

By: Brian Jackson

Type: Biography

Published: December 1, 1994

Updated: October 15, 2016

Asa Crawford Chandler, biologist, was born in Newark, New Jersey, on February 19, 1891, the son of Frank Thomas and Augusta (Jappe) Chandler. He graduated from South Orange High School, New Jersey, in 1907, and later attended Cornell University (B.A., 1911) and the University of California (M.S., 1912; Ph.D., 1914). He taught at Oregon State Agricultural College from 1914 to 1918. Chandler was most well-known for his biology textbook, which was used by many universities and medical schools. This standard text on parasitology, first published in 1918 under the title Animal Parasites and Human Disease, went through nine editions, the last of which was entitled Introduction to Parasitology with Special Reference to the Parasites of Man (1955). Chandler was a second lieutenant in the Sanitary Corps, United States Army, in 1918–19. He was subsequently appointed instructor of biology at Rice Institute (now Rice University), where he remained until 1924. From 1924 to 1927 he was research director of the Hookworm Research Laboratory at the British School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Calcutta, India. In 1927 he completed a highly influential helminthological survey of India. Upon his return to the United States he was appointed professor of biology at Rice Institute. From 1942 to 1947 he was special consultant to the United States Public Health Service on Malaria Control in War Areas. In 1952 he was appointed to the advisory panel on parasitic diseases at the World Health Organization. The same year, he held a Fulbright grant at the Fuad I Institute for Tropical Medicine in Egypt.

Chandler was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, vice president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (1938), and president of the American Society of Parasitologists (1950). He was a member in the American Academy of Tropical Medicine, the American Microscopical Society, the American Society of Naturalists, and Sigma Xi. In addition to his widely used textbook he wrote several other works, including Anthelmintics and Their Uses (with R. N. Chopra, 1928), Hookworm Disease (1929), and The Eater's Digest, a treatise on diet (1941).

Chandler married Belle Clarke on June 1, 1914, and they had three daughters. He was a Republican. He died suddenly of a heart attack on August 23, 1958, in a railway station in Rotterdam, Netherlands, shortly after he had arrived from New York by sea on his way to an international science meeting in Portugal, where he was to serve as honorary president of the Sixth International Congress on Tropical Medicine and Malaria.

Dallas News, August 24, 1958. Proceedings of the Philosophical Society of Texas, 1958. Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Vol. 2.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Brian Jackson, “Chandler, Asa Crawford,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 18, 2022,

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December 1, 1994
October 15, 2016

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