Watch CBS News

'Visionary leader,' Dallas Zoo president Gregg Hudson dies at 64

Dallas Zoo officials and police provide update on arrest in stolen monkey case
Dallas Zoo officials and police provide update on arrest in stolen monkey case 06:15

DALLAS (CBSNewsTexas) - Dallas Zoo President and CEO, Gregg Hudson, has passed away from cancer at the age of 64. 

"Words are simply not enough to express the magnitude of this unexpected loss. Gregg was a husband, father, brother, son, and a leader in the zoo and aquarium industry – a north star for so many," the zoo shared on its Facebook page. 

Hudson led the zoo through the creation of a public/private partnership with the City of Dallas in 2009. Described as a genuine, caring person who built relationships easily, he recently advocated for more security following a bizarre series of crimes

"His passion, tireless work ethic, and love for our zoo has cemented Gregg's legacy here forever. We are simply heartbroken to lose such a visionary leader for the Dallas Zoo."

With the heaviest of hearts, we share the difficult news that Dallas Zoo President and CEO, Gregg Hudson, passed away...

Posted by Dallas Zoo on Monday, April 10, 2023

Hudson served as the Dallas Zoo's president and CEO since 2006. Under his leadership, the zoo opened its award-winning 11-acre Giants of the Savanna habitat in May 2010. It also reached the "1-million-visitor mark" in 2015 for the first time in its history and has maintained a yearly average of 1 million visitors since then, according to the zoo.

He "worked tirelessly" as a pioneer for wildlife conservation for 30+ years and served on the national board of directors for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), as well as on the boards of Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (Rwanda) and the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Prior to the Dallas Zoo, Hudson spent 10 years as the Executive Director and CEO of the Fort Worth Zoo; then more than five years as the President and CEO of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden; before returning to lead the Dallas Zoo.

At the family's request, donations in honor of Hudson can be made to the Dallas Zoo or to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.