Hooker, Sir William J. (1785-1865), a celebrated English botanist. He was a native of Norwich. He was bred a merchant, but preferred an outdoor life. Hooker devoted himself to the study of botany. Contributions to a better understanding of the mosses led to his appointment to the chair of botany in the University of Glasgow. In 1841 he was made director of the Royal Gardens of Kew, a position which he filled with honor.
His important works include a score of titles. The best known is perhaps The British Flora, a work which has been to the British Islands what Gray's Manual has been to the northeastern United States.