Charles W. Woodworth (1865–1940) was the founder of the Entomology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. He made many significant contributions to the science of entomology.
He was born in Champaign, Illinois on April 8th, 1865. His father, Alvin Oakley Woodworth, was a merchant but died when Charles was about five. Some years later, his mother married Alvin's older brother Stephen to help raise Charles and his older brother Howard.
Charles graduated with a BS in 1885 and an MS in 1886 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. During the period of 1884-1886, he was assistant to S.A. Forbes. From 1886 to 1888 and again from 1900 to 1901, he studied at Harvard University under H.A. Hagen, who, at the time, was the leading entomologist of the U.S. In 1888, he was appointed entomologist and botanist at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. During this time he married Leonora Stern in Rolla, Missouri. Charles suffered from successive attacks of malaria while in Arkansas. He left there in 1891 to become assistant in entomology at the University of California where he founded and built up the Division of Entomology. He also participated in the development of the Agricultural Experiment Station, now known as UC Davis, and is also considered the founder of the Entomology Department there.
He rose to be assistant professor in 1891, associate professor in 1904, professor in 1913, and was named emeritus professor upon his retirement in 1930.
He is credited with first breeding Drosophila in quantity while he was at Harvard. Thomas Hunt Morgan's Nobel Prize biography says that C.W. Woodworth suggested to W. E. Castle that Drosophila might be used for genetical work. Castle and his associates used it for their work on the effects of inbreeding, and through them F. E. Lutz became interested in it and the latter introduced it to Morgan, who was looking for less expensive material that could be bred in the very limited space at his command. Shortly after he commenced work with this new material (1909), a number of striking mutants turned up. Morgan's subsequent studies on this phenomenon ultimately enabled the determination of the precise behaviour and exact localization of genes.
While on sabbatical leave in 1918, he was a lecturer at the University of Nanking and honorary professor of entomology at the National Southeastern University at Nanking, China. During his year there he effected a practical control of mosquitoes for the first time in that city's history. He returned for a three year period in 1921_1924. During this period he organized the Kiangsu Provincial Bureau of Entomology as well as many other things. In the words of the president of the University of Nanking, "He served China in a magnificent way."
His publications were very extensive and included nearly every field of entomology. A few of his most oustanding works are: "A List of the Insects of California (1903), The Wing Veins of Insects" (1906), "Guide to California Insects" (1913), and "School of Fumigation (1915). He was the first editor and first contributor to the University of California Publications in Entomology.
He had much to do with the responsible use of pesticides. He proposed and drafted the first California Insecticide Law in 1906, was largely instrumental in securing its passage in 1911, and administered the law until July 1, 1923. Entomological campaigns which he conducted in California concerned the codling moth, the peach twig-borer, citrus insects, grasshoppers, and citrus white fly eradication.
He had four children, Lawrence, Harold, Charles, and Elizabeth. His son, Dr. Charles E. Woodworth, also became an Entomologist; he worked for the U.S.D.A. and served as an Entomologist with the Army in the Pacific during WWII with the rank of Major, commanding a unit which cleared swamps.
The home that Professor Woodworth designed and lived in was designated a Berkeley Landmark in 1993.
C.W. was an 1889 charter member of the American Association of Economic Entomologists. This group merged with the Entomology Society of America, founded 1906, in 1953. The Pacific Branch of the Entomology Society of America gives an annual award for achievement in Entomology in the Pacific region of the U.S. over the previous ten years called the C.W. Woodworth Award. The 2004 winner was Dr. Vicki Yokoyama of the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Research Service. This award is principly sponsored by his Great-Grandson, Brian Holden and his wife Joann Wilfert with additional support by Craig and Kathryn Holden, and Jim and Betty Woodworth.
- Charles William Woodworth, Entomology and Parasitology, Berkeley (http://dynaweb.oac.cdlib.org:8088/dynaweb/uchist/public/inmemoriam/inmemoriam1940/@Generic__BookTextView/430), from 1940, University of California: In Memoriam.
-  (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/uchistory/general_history/campuses/ucb/departments_e.html), a U.C. Berkeley History site.
-  (http://nobelprize.org/medicine/laureates/1933/morgan-bio.html), T.H. Morgan's biography