Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Memorial info for Hargrove '66; services are Saturday

Tom Hargrove '66 will be laid to rest Saturday in Rotan, northwest of Abilene, near the farm where he grew up. Here are today's stories about him from the Houston Chronicle and Bryan-College Station Eagle:

Thomas Hargrove risked his life to feed world's poor
Aggie who inspired "Proof of Life" dies at 66

The family has said that donations/flowers are not expected, but if people wish to make a donation, the family has given it a lot of thought and they suggest donations could go to the Borlaug International Scholars Fund at A&M. The fund has a touching note up on its website about Dr. Hargrove.

We are deeply saddened by the death of Dr. Tom Hargrove – scientist, humanitarian, author, friend, husband, and father. Dr. Hargrove dedicated his life to communicating the needs of international agriculture development. He was a long-time friend of Dr. Borlaug and the entire staff of the Borlaug Institute. He will be missed. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Borlaug International Scholars Fund. Details can be found below. For more about the incredible life of Dr. Hargrove, two of his books can be found at the Texas A&M University Press: Dragon Lives Forever about his agriculture development work in Vietnam during the war and Long March to Freedom about his hostage experience in Columbia.

Memorials can be made to:

Borlaug International Scholars Fund
401 George Bush Drive
College Station, TX 77840

Submit online memorials at http://givenow.tamu.edu/.
From the two drop-down menus, select “College of Agriculture and Life Sciences” and “Borlaug International Scholars.”

Our love and respect go out to Dr. Hargrove's family.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tom Hargrove '66 dies of heart attack

A brief report earlier today from the Eagle on Twitter gave news that Tom Hargrove '66 died Sunday of a heart attack. I'll look for more news to come, but I wanted to post here the text of our plaque honoring Hargrove, who in 1996 was the first journalist inducted by Texas A&M's Former Journalism Students Association into its Hall of Honor.

Please leave me news, updates or tributes in the comments or send to aggiejournalists (at) gmail (dot) com.
(photo of plaque, above, taken by Jerry Cooper '63)

The plaque reads:

Tom Hargrove is a distinguished writer and publisher whose life work has involved finding ways to get practical agricultural publications into the hands of farmers throughout the Third World.

He worked for 18 years as a writer and editor with the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. By 1989, under his leadership, the institute had published 33 books in more than 40 languages in 29 countries. This included "A Farmer's Primer on Growing Rice," the world's most widely published agricultural book. He left the Philippines for Cali, Colombia, in 1992 where he headed the communications unit for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

On his way to work one day in September 1994, Hargrove was kidnapped by Colombian rebels and held for ransom. For 11 months, he lived in chains in primitive camps in the Andes. In an extraordinary display of courage and tenacity, Hargrove survived his ordeal and, starving, stumbled out to the mountains after his family had negotiated his release. Hargrove kept a daily journal, scribbled on checkbook stubs and other scraps of paper. His diary became an inspiring book, "Long March to Freedom: Tom Hargrove's own story of his kidnaping by Colombian Narco-Guerrillas."

Hargrove grew up on a cotton farm in Rotan, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in agricultural journalism in 1966.