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Wilmot W. Brown (1870?–1953) collected birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles from 1890 until his death in 1953, amassing a collection that forms the core of knowledge of the distribution and taxonomy of the terrestrial vertebrate fauna of Central and South America. His collection of more than 18,000 bird specimens is spread over 25 institutions, although his longest collaboration was with Outram Bangs and John Thayer of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. He collected throughout the Caribbean; northern South America, including Colombia and Panama; and principally throughout Mexico, where he was based for more than 40 years, forming one of the most important collections ever amassed for that country. He collected more than 750 specimens now classified as some form of type specimen, and at least eight taxa are named in his honor, including two reptiles, a mammal, and five birds. Although he sent regular, detailed correspondence back to his benefactors in the United States, he never published a single professional article, and no field journal has been located, leaving his legacy obscured. In an era of lax data collection and fraudulent collectors, Brown's specimens and associated data have proven to be of high quality and help form the basis for our current understanding of New World biodiversity, although his legacy is marred by his disregard for the conservation plight of the species he collected.