Francisco Ayala, Biologist and Defender of Evolution, Dies at 88

Instead, he continued writing, helping colleagues with their work, and dedicating his time to his family and the small vineyards the family owns in Northern California, a business that made him wealthy enough to become one of the donors. most generous in college.

Francisco José Ayala Pereda was born in Madrid on March 12, 1934, the son of José Ayala and Soledad Pereda. He studied theology at the Facultad Pontificia de San Esteban in Salamanca, Spain, and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1960. But he left the priesthood almost immediately and came to the United States in 1961 to pursue graduate studies in genetics at Columbia University. .

He became a US citizen in 1971.

From Columbia he went to Rockefeller University in Manhattan, then to the University of California at Davis and finally, in 1987, to Irvine, where he lived.

His 1968 marriage to Mary Henderson ended in divorce. He married Hana Lostokova, an environmentalist, in 1985. In addition to his son Carlos, he is survived by his wife, another son, José, and four grandchildren.

The removal of Dr. Ayala from Irvine remains a matter of contention.

His accusers said his generosity to the university may have protected him, making administrators reluctant to address a long-running pattern of unacceptable behavior and allowing it to continue unchecked for years.

His supporters said that he was generous with more than money, with time, wisdom and concern, with colleagues and students. And his actions, they said, should not tarnish his achievements in science.

“One shouldn’t mourn someone who has lived such a long and rich life,” said Dr. Scott. “But we will miss him.”