Thorne received a Ph.D. degree in 1918 from the Utah Agricultural College. Most of his career was spent with the USDA Division of Nematology, stationed in Utah. During his career, Thorne described some 467 species of nematodes and initiated or established 70 genera, 23 subfamilies, 20 families, eight superfamilies, and an order. He made tremendous strides in demonstrating the crop damage caused by nematodes, working particularly with the sugar beet cyst nematode, Heterodera schachtii. He was also on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin beginning in 1956 and after his retirement worked at South Dakota State University as a visiting professor. Of his hundreds of research articles and books, his 1961 book, Principles of Nematology, proved to be an invaluable classic and is still widely used today. In 1965 Thorne was elected a fellow of APS.
(Submitted for publication in July 2008.)