Fairchild, David (Grandison) (1869–1954), a United States horticulturist. In 1898 Fairchild began a long career as an agricultural explorer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He visited many foreign lands to study plants of economic importance and brought more than 200,000 plant species to the United States. Some of these—including varieties of durum wheat from Russia, soybeans from Asia, and cotton from Mexico—proved of major value to United States farmers.
Fairchild was born in East Lansing, Michigan. He studied at Kansas State Agricultural College in Manhattan, and at several foreign universities. In 1905 he married Marian Bell, daughter of Alexander Graham Bell. Many of his tropical plants are displayed at Fairchild Tropical Garden, Coral Gables, Florida. It covers 83 acres (34 hectares) and contains some 5,000 varieties of tropical plants.
He wrote The World Was My Garden (1938) and The World Grows Round My Door (1947).