The many activities of Carl-Gustaf Rossby are described, beginning with his early adventures at sea, and presented in the context of the meteorological world of his time. His scientific ideas and papers are not discussed except for an important aspect of his typical approach to analysis of atmospheric and oceanic motion. His success in fostering interaction between different people and institutions is emphasized.

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Editor's note: This is the first of a series of papers about Carl-Gustaf Rossby that will be published in the Bulletin. All papers were presented at the 1998 Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society as part of the Special Session Honoring the Centennial of the Birth of Carl-Gustaf A. Rossby. Other papers in the series will appear in upcoming issues of the Bulletin.