Special to The New York Times
NEWPORT, R. I, July 23---Dr. Alexander Hamilton Rice, explorer of the Amazon, author and member of the summer colony here for forty years, died here today at his estate, Miramar. He was 80 years old. He had been ill for the last month.
Born in Boston, he was the son of John Hamilton and Cora Clark Rice. He graduated from Harvard College in 1898 and the Harvard Medical School in 1902. He also studied at the Royal Geographic Society in London for three years and between then and 1926 made a number of trips on the Amazon.
During World War I, as a member of the American Ambulance Service, he directed a base hospital in France. Upon the entry of the United States into the war, he was commissioned in the United States Navy and taught navigation at Harvard, where he later became Professor Emeritus of Geographic Exploration. Again, during World War II he taught navigation at Harvard.
In 1915 he married Mrs. Eleanor Elkins Widener, widow of George D. Widener. Upon her death, Mr. Rice inherited a life interest in Miramar, which now reverts to the children of the first Mrs. Rice by her first marriage.
In 1949, Mr. Rice married Mrs. Dorothy Farrington Upham, widow of John P. Upham of New York, in Paris. She is his only survivor.
From Newport to Jungle
Dr. Rice was as much at home in the elegant swirl of Newport society as in the steaming jungles of Brazil. He was often in the company of such titled notables as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, but he repeatedly gave up the life for rugged explorations, in one of which he fought a running four-day battle against cannibals.
Between the two World Wars he organized and led seven expeditions into the jungles of South America. He surveyed and mapped half a million square miles of unexplored territory, established hospitals for Indians of Brazil and conducted research in tropical diseases. His scientific work won him honors from Italy, England, France and Spain.
Dr. Rice also conducted expeditions in Alaska and Hudson Bay.