Cover photo for Richard E. “Dick” McCarty's Obituary
Richard E. “Dick” McCarty Profile Photo
1938 Dick McCarty 2024

Richard E. “Dick” McCarty

May 3, 1938 — February 23, 2024

Baltimore, MD

Dick McCarty, 85, of Baltimore, MD, died on Friday, February 23rd after an illness. He died peacefully in his home at Roland Park Place. Born in Baltimore, he was the son of the late Maclyn and Anita Davies McCarty.  He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1960 and earned his Ph.D in Biology in 1964, also from Johns Hopkins. Dick’s early career was spent at Cornell University where he worked for 24 years, eventually serving as Chair of the Section of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology and for two years was the Director of the Biotechnology Program. In 1990, he returned to Johns Hopkins to Chair the Department of Biology and retired as the William D. Gill Professor of Biology and Dean Emeritus of the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences.  He was awarded the Charles F. Kettering award in 1994 by the American Society of Plant Physiologists who called him a “central figure” since the 1960s in advances in the understanding of photosynthesis and photosynthetic energy conversion. He has written more than 120 scholarly articles and served as associate editor of Plant Physiology and on the editorial boards of four other professional journals. Dick was a devoted scientist and beloved graduate student mentor; a loving spouse, father and grandfather; a lover of plants, “digging in the dirt”, chocolate, whipped cream, oysters and a good burger; a devotee of classical music and any and all word-related puzzles; a weather nerd, an ear wiggling expert and a persistent whistler.

He is survived by his spouse, Kath McCarty and his children, Jennifer McCarty-Prefontaine, Richard McCarty Jr., and Gianna McCarty, his son and daughter-in-law Daniel McCarty-Prefontaine and Kelly Sachette McCarty, his grandson Maximo McCarty and by his sister Dale (Donald) DiNunzio.   

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