Herbert Spencer Zim, born on July 12, 1909 in New York City, moved with his family to southern California when he was still quite young. At age 14, he returned to New York, earning his BS, MA, and PhD degrees from Columbia University.
His primary interest was science. He taught science for more than 30 years in New York and Illinois, developing the first elementary science laboratories, authoring or editing more than 120 books on a broad range of science topics, and originating the highly successful Golden Guides in 1945.
He retired to Florida in the 1960s, continuing to edit the Golden Guides, which others now authored. Zim died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in 1994, at the age of 85.