Honoring Dr. Fisher

Happy Birthday to a Lincoln Park Zoo Legend!

Dr. Lester E. Fisher is a Lincoln Park Zoo legend. Hired as the zoo’s first veterinarian in 1947, he was named director in 1962, beginning a 30-year tenure that transformed the zoo. With the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, Dr. Fisher introduced a new emphasis on education and conservation while remaking zoo grounds to meet modern expectations for animal comfort and care.

Even in retirement, he continues to influence animal conservation and care. The zoo’s world-class Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes reflects his longstanding dedication to our closest living relatives. Similarly, the recently established Dr. Lester E. Fisher Director of Veterinary Medicine Endowment supports the zoo’s efforts to care for all its animals, big and small.

As Dr. Fisher celebrates his 90th birthday, we’re honoring his impressive legacy. Join us for a celebration on February 24—or share your birthday message in the field below.

Join the Celebration

Join us at 10:30 a.m. on February 24 at Regenstein Center for African Apes to celebrate Dr. Fisher’s Lincoln Park Zoo legacy. Guests can offer their best wishes with an oversized birthday card as the chimpanzees and gorillas join the fun with a piñata “cake” and “presents.”

Share a Birthday Message with Dr. Fisher Below!


Happy Birthday Dr. Fisher and thank you for your years of hard work and dedication. Your work and dedication has given Chicago a treasure for all to enjoy.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. FISHER. I like animals too. Thank you for caring about animals so much.

Happy Birthday to you, Dr. Fisher! I used to watch you on Ray Raynor, a few birthdays ago. Now my daughter and I are huge animal lovers and advocates. Saw your flowers from Betty White - besides the animals, what a great friend to have! Enjoy your special day!

Happy 90th Birthday Dr Fisher. I have nothing but fond memories of your appearances in Ark in the Park on the Ray Rayner Show. I learned so much from your gentle portrayals of the various Lincoln Park Zoo residents. My mother was a volunteer in the Children's Zoo and often spoke of how genuine and kind you were to everyone there. You are one of Chicago's treasures. God bless you on this special day.

Happy Birthday Dr. Fisher...Loved you and Ray on WGN!!!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Fisher! Thank you for all you've done for children, education, and families. I couldn't wait for Ark in the Park as a child. Best wishes for a year filled with great health, lots of love, and laughter.

Dr. Fisher- Happy Birthday! You look absolutely fantastic!! Thank you for instilling in me a love and respect for all animals. Such fond memories I have of you from my childhood :) Many happy and healthy returns of the day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. FISHER! Ark in the Park was my favorite segment on the Ray Raynor show. I have so many great memories of watching you and Ray at the zoo. Thank you Dr. Fisher!

Dr. Fisher, Thank you teaching all of us how to be better human beings! Your gentle voice and gentle ways taught us all how to be kind to all living things! Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Fischer and thank you for making Lincoln Park Zoo into a fantastic destination for big kids and little kids alike! And thank you for teaching so many of us to respect and love animals, no matter how big or small. Ark in the Park was one of the big highlights of Ray Rayner's show!

I remember watching Dr. Lester Fisher on the Ray Rayner show doing the "Ark in the Park" segment. Congratulations on your 90th birthday and may you have many more. Thank you for your love of animals.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Fisher! I never had the chance to care for the chimps but always enjoyed my visits with my father to the zoo. I lived on your every word about the animals there. Thanks for the memories! God Bless You!

Dear Dr Fisher, Congratulations! 90 years that the Lord has blessed us with your presence on this earth to care for all of his Creatures. Thank you for giving us a wonderful place of discovery in Lincoln Park zoo, I have many great memories there and of your Ark in the Park segments that I'd watch before heading off to school. Happy Birthday and many more!!

I'll always remember watching you on Ray Rayner. When I got old enough, I would come to Chicago from Indiana just to go to Lincoln Park Zoo and now I sing the "green alligator" song to my kids. Happy Birthday! I hope you know how many lives you've touched and smiles you've made.

Happy Birthday sir with great respect. As many posting here, grew up seeing and learning from you on the RR & Friends. Happy B-day, many more. The LPZ is a magical place.

Happy Birthday Dr. Fisher! We have fond childhood memories of Ark in the Park and appreciate all your dedication to the animals and your efforts in making the Lincoln Park Zoo such a special place in our great city. Now that we have a 7-month-old son, we look forward to building many new memories with him on all our future visits to the zoo. We wish you all the best and many, many more years of health and happiness.

Dr Fisher I just turned 50 , I use too watch you all the days that you were on TV with Ray Raynor. Your ability to advocate for the animals is a beautiful thing . I hope and can only wish that each and everyone of us can explain and show our children , so they can show their children the understanding that we are the voice for the animals . The Park is a Great Place to visit ! We go at least twice a year . Wish we could go more often . Enjoy ! Your B-Day and we will send you another email on your 100th .(:->

Dr. Fisher, I want to wish you a wonderful birthday. I knew you many years ago when I worked as a secretary for Fumel and Haberman and you called me the "other Pam!"

Happy Birthday Dr Fisher. God bless you. You brought me the most wonderful memories. I think you're The St Francis of Assisi of modern time. I would love to see you at the zoo on thursday. but I just started a new job and cant take off. Hope you have a wonderful Day.

Dear Dr. Fisher, A very Happy Birthday and a special thank you for helping make Lincoln Park Zoo, the great zoo it is today. I was a docent there for 12 years and loved every moment. Patti Kinsella

Dear Dr. Fischer - I would like to thank you so very much for everything you've done for the animals and conservation, for the Lincoln Park Zoo, and especially for the happy memories that I have of watching your show, which I never missed and which was the highlight of my week. I believe you helped a generation of people grow up with an appreciation of nature that we otherwise would have missed. Wishing you all the best, and a very Happy 90th Birthday! Gregory and Rhonda Pearson

Happy birthday! I always looked forward to seeing your segment on the Ray R show and I attribute my love and appreciation for animals partly to you! thank you, you've made an impact in my life

Dear Dr. Fisher,I can't believe you are 90! You look great! I grew up in Lombard and I remember going to school with your son! As a child I remember thinking, I can't believe Lester Fisher lives in my hometown! I was a big fan of your zoo segments. Thank you for all you have done for the zoo and for the important future of all animals, which we are all so aware of now. Their futures are so fragile and precious! Happy Birthday!

My brothers and I loved watching you on Ray Rayner- a cherished childhood memory. Happy birthday!

Dear Dr. Fisher...I hope you remember me as I worked as kennel boy at the Berwyn Animal Hospital in Berwyn in 1962/63 and used to cut the grass for your mother. My mother worked at the bakery. You were always very kind to me and I wish you many more Happy Birthdays. I taught Biology and was a counselor at Willowbrook High School for 39 years. Never quite made it to be a veterinarian but still love dogs and all animals. I also remember meeting with you at the zoo. I sure hope you remember me as you were a big part of my life who influenced my career. God Bless you....Ron Tyler

Doc, Congratulations and best wishes on your birthday. We still meet the first Thursday of the month at Connies, and you're always welcome. Many more healthy and happy ones! Len Postregna

Happy Birthday and many more. I remember you and Ray on the Ark in the Park with the warmest of memories. Thank You,

Dear Dr. Fisher, We grew up watching you on WGN. Have a wonderful 90th Birthday!

Happy 90th birthday, Dr. Fisher...hope you had a wonderful day!! I remember watching you on WGN in the mornings before school. Thank you for everything did for the zoo!!!!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Fisher! I remember looking forward to watching you on the Ray Rayner show when I was a kid!! You are a true legend!! Thanks for the happy memories!!

Happy Birthday Dr.Fisher. I loved watching you and all the animals on the Ray Rayner show. Thank you for all you have done for our animals. May there many more birthdays to celebrate in your future.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Fisher. Thank you for your years of devotion to the animals and mission of Lincoln Park Zoo. May you enjoy this birthday to the fullest, and many more!

Happy birthday, Dr. Fisher! Thank you for the joy and knowledge you brought to all of us, watching you on the Ray Rayner show. I've been singing about "green alligators and long-necked geese" ever since I heard about your birthday celebration!

Happy 90th, Dr. Fisher. Thanks for teaching us about animals and conservation and for all the work you did to make the Lincoln Park Zoo the great place it is!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Fisher!!! I grew up watching you on The Ray Rayner Show, Ark in the Park was my favorite segment. You are a Chicago treasure. I wish you the best.

Dear Dr. Fisher, Thank you for some of my favorite childhood memories. Have a wonderful birthday.

Happy Birthday Dr. Fisher!!! Thank you so much for being such a wonderful person. Loved growning up and watching you on television. Enjoy your special day!

Happy 90th Birthday! We have enjoyed you on WGN TV shows and at Lincoln Park Zoo! You have done so much for so many in both the Animal Kingdom and Human World. God Bless You!

Happy birthday Dr Fisher. We watched your shows all throught the 1970s. Thanks for the awesome memories.

We love you! Thank you for babysitting me when I was young. Happy Birthday!

Hi Dr. Fisher and Happy Birthday to you! You LOOK WONDERFUL, by the way. I grew up watching you on the Ray Rayner show and am very happy that you are celebrating your 90th - congratulations!!!

Dr Fisher, Thank you for turning an inner city child into an animal lover. Happy Birthday!!!!!

Happy Birthday Dr. Fisher! Remember, you're only about 13 in dog years!!

Happy Birthday Dr. Lester E. Fisher . Have a wonderful birthday and many more.

Happy Birthday to you!! I went to school with Kate. She was a couple of grades older then me at FWP. But I remember you bringing animals from the zoo to Morning Ex. We had great fun looking at all of them in the multi purpose room. Hope you have a wonderful day. Janina Schneider Bertucci class of 1975.

When my brother and I were little kids (a long time ago), we would sometimes have a burning question about animal classification or behavior. We would call the zoo and ask for Dr. Fisher and someone kindly, patient and knowledgeable who we believed was indeed Dr. Fisher would come to the phone and answer our questions. If it was you (and even if it wasn't) I want to apologize 40 years late for interrupting your busy day, and thank you for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm with a couple of presumptuous gradeschoolers, as well as with the citizens of Chicago all these years. And many happy returns!

Dear Dr. Fisher: Happy, healthy birthday and many more! Thank you so much for having the heart and courage to follow your dream to make this planet a more joyous place to be shared and respected by "all". Candise Zake -February 23, 2011

I teach 3rd grade in Hayward with your daughter and remember having you come in and talk to our students about all of the different animals you have worked with and experiences that you have had. It was not really planned and I don't think that you had really prepared anything, but it was one of the most enjoyable and informative presentations that I have seen to this point! Thanks again for sharing your unique and vast knowledge and have a wonderful birthday!

Happy, Happy Birthday Dr. Fisher. Thinking of you as well as wonderful days at the Zoo! Have a great day!

Happy Birthday Dr. Fisher! Will always remember wonderful days at the zoo! Best Wishes always!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <div>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may insert videos with [video:URL]

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.