LOS ANGELES - Edgar Wayburn, a San Francisco physician and longtime president of the Sierra Club who was credited with protecting more parks and wilderness areas than any other American, has died. He was 103.

Wayburn died Friday at his home in San Francisco of natural causes, said his daughter, Cynthia.

He was the impetus for the establishment of Redwood National Park and pushed to create the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Point Reyes National Seashore and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, among others.

"Edgar Wayburn has helped to preserve the most breathtaking examples of the American landscape. He has saved more of our wilderness than any other person alive," President Bill Clinton said in 1999 when he presented Wayburn with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Wayburn was born Sept. 17, 1906, in Macon, Ga. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1926 and from Harvard Medical School in 1930.

He moved to California to start his medical career and returned there after four years in the Army Air Forces during World War II. In 1946, he met Peggy Elliott. They went hiking on Mount Tamalpais, just north of San Francisco, for their first date and married in 1947.

In addition to his daughter Cynthia, he is survived by daughters Diana and Laurie, son William and three grandchildren. Peggy Wayburn died in 2002. - Los Angeles Times

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