Frederick H. Pough, 99, a museum curator and mineralogist who wrote the definitive guide to collecting gems and minerals, died April 7 of a heart attack near his home in Pittsford, N.Y.
In 1953, Pough wrote "A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals" while serving as curator of physical geology and mineralogy at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
The guide used photographs and simple prose to identify hundreds of minerals. More than five decades after it was written, the guide has sold more than a million copies and remains in print.
Pough left the museum in 1953. He also served as director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for several years in the mid-1960s. He later wrote a monthly column for the magazine Lapidary Journal.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Pough graduated from Harvard University and earned his master's degree from Washington University. He earned another master's degree and a doctorate from Harvard in 1935.