Newton B. Drury

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Newton Drury
4th Director of the National Park Service
In office
August 20, 1940 – March 31, 1951
PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Preceded byArno B. Cammerer
Succeeded byArthur E. Demaray
Personal details
Newton Bishop Drury

(1889-04-09)April 9, 1889
San Francisco, California
DiedDecember 14, 1978(1978-12-14) (aged 89)
Berkeley, California
OccupationAdvertising, politician

Newton Bishop Drury (April 9, 1889 – December 14, 1978) was the fourth director of the American National Park Service and the executive director of the Save the Redwoods League.

Early life

Newton was born in 1889 in

San Francisco, California.[1] He attended Lowell High School, as well as the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated in 1912. He served in the U.S. Army Balloon Corps in World War I. The destruction that he witnessed motivated him strongly towards conservation.[2]


In 1919, he and his brother Aubrey formed the Drury Brothers Company, an advertising and public relations agency. That same year, the organizers of the Save the Redwoods League, many of whom knew Drury from the university, asked Drury Brothers to manage the League. Newton Drury became executive secretary in charge of publicity and fundraising, a position he held for twenty years. Drury and the league obtained a six-million dollar bond measure passed to buy California redwood groves.

National Park Service

Drury with Eleanor Roosevelt at the dedication of Franklin D. Roosevelt's home at Hyde Park, New York, as a national shrine in 1946

Drury declined appointment as NPS Director in 1933, but accepted the job in 1940. He was the first director without prior national park responsibilities, but came with strong conservationist credentials, having served as executive secretary of the Save the Redwoods League in California. During World War II he successfully resisted most demands for consumptive uses of park resources. Less eager than his predecessors to expand the park system, he opposed NPS involvement with areas he judged not to meet national park standards. Differences with Secretary of the Interior Oscar L. Chapman over Chapman's support for dams in Dinosaur National Monument contributed to Drury's resignation in 1951.

After his resignation from the park service Drury accepted the position as head of the California Division of Beaches and Parks. He was instrumental in changing some of the operational policies of the state park system to that similar to the national park system. In particular, he dropped the recreational emphasis in summer programming to that of interpretation with a natural history emphasis.


Drury died in December 1978.[3] He received a Pugsley Medal twice, a silver medal in 1940 and a gold medal in 1950. He was board chairman of the Save the Redwoods League at his death.[4]


The Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway is the 10

US Route 101 is diverted from going through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, and old growth redwoods within the park will not ever be required to be removed to widen the road. Drury Peak[7] in the Mount San Jacinto State Park, Riverside County, California
, is named after him as well.


Government offices
Preceded by Director of the National Park Service
Succeeded by