Year Inducted: 
2013

Jim CorbinJim Corbin, a Providence, Ky., native, is the father of the modern-day pet food industry. He formulated and extruded the world's first expanded foods for dogs and cats, catfish, trout and monkeys. Today more than 95 percent of the nutritional offerings made to America's cats and dogs is in the dry form, the technology developed and championed by Corbin.

Corbin earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the Ralston Purina Company, St. Louis as manager of special chows research in 1954 and soon became the first director of the Purina Pet Care Center.

Corbin spent nearly 20 years at Ralston Purina, where he and his colleague, Joe Vandepopuliere, revolutionized the way people feed their pets and the other types of livestock. Their work also led to the massive expansion of the commercial catfish industry.

One of their projects was monkey food which aided in the nutritional health of monkeys used by Jonas Salk in the development of the polio vaccine and sped up the creation of the vaccine. Corbin’s contribution to the fight against polio was just one of the achievements that earned him the Griffin Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed by the 11,000-member American Association for Laboratory Science in 2004.

In 1964, the British police organization, Scotland Yard, encountered problems in converting its 200 police dogs from a cooked diet to a dry food diet. Six weeks after Corbin's arrival, his work with the dry rations resulted in 200 well-fed police dogs.

In 1973, he joined the Department of Animal Science at the University of Illinois as professor and established a teaching and research program in companion animal biology. He retired as professor emeritus in 1984, but remained active in the industry through consulting until 2006.

In addition to his pioneering advances in animal nutrition and nourishment, Corbin’s professional life has also been characterized by active participation in over a dozen science organizations and associations. Notable positions include his former presidency of AALAS, his past committee memberships on behalf of such government agencies as the National Research Council and the Food and Drug Administration, and as Fellow of the American Society of Animal Science.

In 2001, the American Society of Animal Science, in cooperation with the Iams Company, established the Corbin Award in Companion Animal Biology to recognize his many contributions to pet nutrition and management.

Corbin served as a lieutenant with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. He died in 2007.