Eleven October 2001 is the 80th birthday of Dr. Ding Hou, much appreciated Honorary Staff Member of our Nationaal Herbarium Nederland. Time to reflect on the life and career of this modest but highly productive and talented botanist. Ding Hou was born in 1921 in Hsingkan, Kiangsi Province, China. From 1941— 1945 he studied Botany for his BSc degree at the National Chung-Cheng University in Kiangsi, where he spent another two years as Botanical Assistant. From 1947- 1951 he held a similar position at the National Taiwan University in Taipei. He then moved to the United States of America where he earned an MA in Plant Taxonomy at the Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1952, and his PhD on a revision of the genus Celastrus in 1955 under supervision of Robert E. Woodson, Jr. He also held research assistantships in St. Louis, from 1951-1952 in the Missouri Botanical Garden, and from 1954-1955 in the MO Herbarium. In 1955 he was appointed as Botanist at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, but in 1956 he was lured away to Leiden by C.G.G.J, van Steenis who attached him to his then externally funded Flora Malesiana Team. In 1960 his appointment as Senior Scientific Officer at the Rijksherbarium secured him tenure until his retirement in 1986. However, that retirement date did not change Ding's daily pattern of work in the herbarium which will hopefully continue until long after his 80th birthday.