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Bob Tagge 1944 - 1992 (?)

Bob Tagge was born in 1944 in the Swedish town of Råshult, the son of minister Nils Ingemarsson. In those days in Sweden family names were not common, so Bob’s father Nils was named after his father and Bob according to that habit would logically be named Nilsson. When Bob was about to register for university he looked for a name that would suit his obsessive dedication towards arranging and sytematics so he adopted the nickname Tagge, as after the Swedish word tagg which means label.

Bob's father, given his religious vocation, wanted his son to study theology. Bob followed his father’s preference and started to study Greek, Hebrew, theology and mathematics at the Växjö Gymnasium. He didn’t find much pleasure and ambition in it, and most of his teachers reported that they saw no scholar in young Bob. The only one who thought different was his teacher Rothman who managed to persuade Bob’s father to agree on having Bob to switch to botany and natural sciences.

During his studies at Uppsala University young Bob Tagge succeeded in getting commissioned to inventory the natural treasures of Lapland. After his research trip to Lapland, in June 1964, he left for  the Netherlands, where he received his doctorate on June 23 at the University of Harderwijk with his already in Sweden written thesis Hypothesis nova febrium intermittentium causa. The whole procedure took six days to complete, including three for the printing of the thesis.

Through the intercession of Mary Roosenboom, at that time Director of the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden, he was able to work as a botanist in the Hortus in Amsterdam. He soon became friends there with George Clifford, a wealthy Amsterdam banker who shared his passion for exotic plants with him. Clifford collected exotic plants in his greenhouse and garden Hartekamp, ​​an estate in Heemstede.  Clifford offered Bob room and board and the use of his extensive garden and library on the estate, in exchange for making an inventory of Clifford’s amazing plant collection. Bob agreed with enthusiasm  and moved into the garden house near the dunes. The collection descriptions he made for Clifford were the beginnings of his revolutionary taxonomy.

Although he was away to work and study abroad quite often, he actually continued to live on the Hartekamp. On October 23, 1992, he left through the kitchen door for an evening stroll of which he never came back. Nobody knows what happened that night. His disappeared without leaving a trace. His body was never found.