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On January 3rd, 2020, Larry B. Howard, Ph.D., 91, of Colorado Springs, CO, passed away peacefully. Born in Seattle in 1928, Larry grew up in western Montana. Larry attended Menlo High prep school near Palo Alto, CA, where he was a scholar-athlete, finishing in three years and lettering in football, track and field, and swimming. In 1945, Larry enlisted at 17 to join the WWII effort through the 11th Airborne Division. The war ended before he was deployed, so he ended up in the occupation forces on Hokkaido as a medic. After completing military service, he returned to the US and obtained a BA in Chemistry and Microbiology at the University of Montana in 1949. He jumped at Missoula 1950-53 and 1955. Larry moved to Minneapolis, where Larry obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Upon graduation, Larry accepted a position as the Assistant Director of the Georgia State Crime Lab in Atlanta. In Atlanta, Larry added post-doctoral education in multiple medical sciences at Emory University, where he eventually joined the staff in the Medical School Anatomy and Pathology Departments. He then spent much of his time driving and flying his airplane all over the state to perform autopsies and investigate crime scenes. In 1969, he became the Director of the Georgia Division of Forensic Sciences and Supervisor of the Georgia Medical Examiner System, a position he held until his Georgia retirement in 1988. Larry was perhaps best known for his roles in the 20+ serial Atlanta child murder cases in the 1980s. The child murder cases drew national media and FBI attention. He and his Crime Lab forensic team used blood, rug fibers and dog hairs associated with both the suspect and victims to help convict Wayne Williams, who is still in prison. This was the first time technology was advanced enough to successfully match textile fibers and dog hair to help convict a suspect. During his years with the Crime Lab, Larry served as the Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and President of the American Society of Crime Lab Directors. He was on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Forensic Science and the American Journal of Legal Medicine and Pathology and a member of multiple scientific societies. He also consulted and lectured on various forensic topics, including drug and poison deaths, ballistics and blood spatter patterns. Larry's numerous honors include Who's Who in America (2007-2012) and Who's Who in the World (2008). In 1973, he was given the American Bicentennial Research Institute Award in Recognition of Professional and Civil Attainment. In 1981 he was voted Man of the Year by the District Attorneys' Association of Georgia and in 2000 received the Briggs White Award for excellence in forensic science management. After retiring from the Georgia Crime Lab, Larry moved back home to the rocky mountain west and settled in Colorado Springs to help the Colorado Springs Police Department develop, build and manage their crime lab (1990-95). From 1995 to 2018 he worked as a forensic science consultant and traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad. He was a fitness enthusiast and ran and lifted weights regularly into his 60s, resulting in his being given the nickname "Clark Kent" by the neighborhood. In his 40s he made the technical climb of Grand Teton and later took up scuba diving.



Publication Date

August 2020


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Howard, Larry Bruce (Missoula 1950)