Jane Goodall :: Biography
Best known for the study of chimpanzees, animal welfare and conservation, Jane Goodall is a British anthropologist, ethologist, primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace. She was born in the year 1934 and celebrates her birthday on 3rd April, every year. Her work mostly involves the primate chimpanzee and she is considered to be world’s one of the foremost expert on chimpanzees. She dedicated 45 years of her life for the study of chimpanzee’s social and family life. She founded the Roots & Shoots program and the Jane Goodall Institute. She also serves on the board of Nonhuman Rights Project since 1996, and works extensively on the issues regarding animal conservation and welfare.
She was born in London, England as Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall. Her father Herbert Morris-Goodall was a businessman and her mother Margaret Myfanwe Joseph was a novelist. She has a younger sister. Her interest in chimpanzees heightened because of a chimpanzee toy named Jubilee, which was given to her by her father. She still has the toy.
She worked as a secretary to Louis Leakey, a Kenyan paleontologist and archaeologist and was sent to Olduvai George, Tanzania. Then in 1958, he sent her to London to study primate anatomy with John Napier and primate behavior with Osman Hill. Their team, The Trimates, went to Gombe Stream National Park. In order to pursue her career further, she needed a formal education degree, so Leaky arranged for her to go to Cambridge University to get a Ph.D degree, making her the eighth person to get a Ph.D without having a Bachelor’s degree. She studied the social and family life of chimpanzees during her time at Gombe. In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute which works to protect chimpanzees and their habitat. The institute started a global youth program called Roots & Shoots in 1991. The organization has now grown over 10,000 groups in more than 100 countries. She served as the president of Advocates for Animals that campaign against use of animals in zoos, sports, farming and medical research. She serves as the asbassador for Disneynature and is a patron of Population Matters and Voiceless. For her generous humanitarian and environmental work, she has received numerous awards, honors and accolades. Her most notable awards include The Kyoto Prize in Basic Science, she received in 1990, The National Geographic Society Hubbard Medal for Distinction in Exploration, Discovery, and Research in 1995, Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 1997 and many others. She has written many books about her study of chimpanzees. The books have been translated in many languages and serves as a reference to scientists and researchers all over the world. She has a memoir titled Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe, which has her detailed study and has worked in different documentaries and films.
Talking about her personal life, she became the wife of Dutch nobleman, Baron Hugo van Lawick, a wildlife photographer on March 29, 1964 and was known as Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall during her marriage. She had a son, Hugo Eric Louis with him. The couple had a divorce in 1974. The next year, she got married to Derek Bryceson, who was a member of the Tanzania’s parliament and the director of the country’s national parks. Unfortunately, he died in October 1980 of Cancer. She has no children with him.
Godell has dedicated most of her life for the study and welfare of chimpanzees. Her contribution to their study is a highly notable one. She has a charming personality with a matching height. She is idolized by many people all over the world. More about her can be found in her bio in the Wikipedia.