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Henry Sears (1913-1982) was an American commander, and commodore of the New York Yacht Clubmarker. He worked to revived, and competed in the America's Cup. He also discovered multiple species of fish while sailing the Atlanticmarker and Pacificmarker Oceans.

Early Life

Sears began sailing at the age of eight. As a child, his family spent three months of the year in each Boston, Massachusettsmarker; Paris, Francemarker; Beverly, Massachusettsmarker and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvaniamarker. He attended Ecole Gory School (1920-1925), St. Marks School (1928-1930). It is unknown weather Sears later attended Yalemarker, or at the Brooks School.

The Atlantis

After the founding of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutionmarker, Sears worked on the ship Atlantis, where he measured the temperatures and salinity off of the Mainemarker. While on the ship, he recorded and preserved several unknown species of fish. Those species included are in the genus Searsia: Searsia koefoedi and Searsia polycoeca. Sears's preserved specimens are now located at the Peabody Museum.

The Sears Foundation

Awealthy uncle, David Sears IV, passed away, leaving Henry with a significant inheritance. He used a large part of that money ($85,000 in total) to start the Sears Foundation. The foundation went on to publish the first Journal of Marine Research, and a book: Fishes of the Western North America.

World War II

With the beginning of World War II, Henry entered the program for training officers for the U.S. Naval Reserve. He ended up captain of the U.S.S Wesson. He was later to report as commanding officer for the U.S.S. Pillsbury. With the end of the war, he was discharged and received multiple medals, including the Bronze Star.


Sears won the Navy Challenge Cup (1952) and the Alumni Class Cup (1953). In 1956, he was elected commodore of the New York Yacht Clubmarker.

The America's Cup

In 1956, after a 19 year hiatus in America's Cup Racing, Sears appealed to the Supreme Court of New York to amend the Cups deed of gift. This re-instated the competition in smaller yachts (the 12-Meters). He then went on to serve as the navigator of the 1958 (defender): Colombia, which won.


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