Pinchot, Gifford (1865–1946), a United States forester and political leader. Pinchot was one of the first persons to advocate planned conservation of natural resources. He was a personal friend of Theodore Roosevelt.
Pinchot was born in Simsbury, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale University in 1889 and, after studying forestry in Europe, became the first professional forester in the United States. In 1898 he was made chief of the Division of Forestry, remaining in charge when that federal bureau became the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture in 1905. He was dismissed in 1910 by President Taft following a dispute with Richard Ballinger, secretary of the interior. The dismissal strained Taft's relations with former President Roosevelt.
Pinchot helped found Yale's School of Forestry in 1900, and was professor of forestry there, 1903–36. A Republican, he was governor of Pennsylvania, 1923–27 and 1931–35.