John "Jack" Dallas Hallahan was born September 26, 1917 in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, the son of Elizabeth and John Patrick Henry Hallahan, a structural engineer who worked on bridge construction. Growing up in Upper Darby, Jack received the usual formal education as a child, soon developing an interest in all things natural. His fascination with minerals began at the age of seven, when he found his first smoky quartz crystal near his home. This was the beginning of his life-long passion for minerals. Jack's other early interest (besides mineralogy, entymology and botany) was in the field of medicine; he attended Haverford College and the Medical College of the University of Pennsylvania. He served with a medical battalion in the Navy during World War II, and upon being discharged went into private practice, and was eventually affiliated with several area hospitals. He was the founding Director of Medicine of the Riddle Memorial Hospital since its inception in 1963 until 1978, and was a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Philippine College of Physicians.
Throughout Jack's life, he and his wife Marion traveled the world. Trips abroad took them to Madagascar, Greenland, South Korea, Australia, and many other countries. He traveled throughout the United States even more extensively, collecting minerals and insects wherever he went (he discovered a new species of crane fly in Colorado—it was named Ormosia hallahani in his honor). His mineral collection grew so large that Jack had to build a two-story museum and greenhouse behind his house.
Jack was inducted into the National Rockhound and Lapidary Hall of Fame in 1995. He was an active member of the Tuscarora Lapidary Society in Media, Pennsylvania; the group met in Jack's former medical office. In retirement, the Hallahans spent the rest of their time raising bees, gardening and working in their greenhouse.
Jack passed away on December 28, 2010 at his home in Media, Pennsylvania. His collection of several thousand mineral specimens was passed to his son, William Hallahan, of Rochester, New York.
MITCHELL, J.R. (2006) Personal communication.
U.S. Federal Census 1920, 1930
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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