Tribute to Gary Lincoff

CMS was saddened to learn of the passing of mycologist Gary Lincoff on the morning of Friday, March 16, 2018. He was a giant and visionary in the world of mycology.  Even though CMS never had the opportunity to host Gary, all of our members have benefited from the many contributions he has made to the field of mycology. Social media postings described Gary as a teacher, mentor, and friend who was witty, gentle, humble, curious, and most of all passionate about plants and mushrooms. For those who are unfamiliar with Gary’s mycological accomplishments, we gathered them here:

  • Author, Co-author, or editor of numerous books, including: Toxic and Hallucinogenic Mushroom Poisoning: A Handbook for Physicians and Mushroom Hunters (1978), the Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (1981), The Mushroom Book (1996), Mushroom Magick (2009), Simon and Schuster’s Guide to Mushrooms (2011), The Complete Mushroom Hunter (2011),  and The Joy of Foraging (2012). You will find a list of articles at ResearchGate.
  • Nominated for a James Beard award in 1997 for The Mushroom Book.
  • Led wild mushroom and edible wild plant study trips and forays to 30 countries. He was a constant participant in events across the nation including this year’s 18th Annual Gary Lincoff Foray, sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club of which he is an honorary lifetime member. Watch an interview of Gary by Adam Haritan of Learn your Land recorded at the 15th anniversary of this foray.
  • Chaired the Telluride Mushroom Festival for 25 years (1980-2004) and participated as its principal speaker annually. Watch his 2011 talk here.
  • Featured in the 2009 award-winning documentary Know your Mushrooms. Gary Lincoff and Larry Evans lead the audience on a hunt for the wild mushroom and the deeper cultural experiences attached to the mysterious fungi.
  • According to NAMA (North American Mycological Association) president David Rust,  Gary was a driving force in the early years of NAMA and served as the president from 1983-1988 and award committee chair for many years.
  • Has a NAMA Award named after him; the Gary Lincoff Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology.
  • Taught courses on mushroom and plant identification and use at the New York Botanical Garden.
  • Made numerous contributions to the New York Mycological Society as a foray leader, speaker, expert Identifier, and contributor to identifying over 800 species of fungi in New York city since 2006 – species list.
  • Appeared on the Martha Stewart TV show to speak about mushroom foraging. Watch here.
  • Appeared on the PRI radio program Science Friday to provide tips on how to get started with mushroom hunting. Read or listen here.
  • Shared much of his knowledge through his website

“You should give up whatever job you have and just quit. Just stop now, and devote the rest of your life to mushrooms.” — Gary Lincoff

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