Jane Goodall Biography

Biography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Jane Goodall, a foremost authority on the study of primates and especially chimpanzees, grew up in England. Her fascination with animals was a lifelong one, and even as a young child she displayed an affinity for and curiosity about animals. She also read voraciously about animals.

In 1950 Goodall received a School Certificate with matriculation exemption, and two years later she obtained a Higher Certificate as well. She began a series of jobs, among them one with a documentary film company. She finally saved enough money to finance a trip to Africa.

On the occasion of this first trip to Africa, Goodall became acquainted with the prominent anthropologist and paleontologist Louis B. Leakey, who suggested that Goodall undertake a research project in Tanzania, East Africa, to study chimpanzees; Leakey hoped that such a study could shed light on the possible lifestyle of early human ancestors. Under Goodall’s management the project was successful, and after that initial venture in 1960, Goodall and her staff continued the research for decades, producing valuable information concerning primate behavior based on close field observation.

In 1956 Goodall obtained a doctoral degree in ethology from Cambridge University, after which she held various research and teaching positions at the Gombe Stream Research Centre, Stanford University, the University of Dar es Salaam, Tufts University, and the University of Southern California. In 1977 she established The Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education, and Conservation. She has received dozens of awards from around the world, among them receiving the title of...

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Jane Goodall Bibliography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Green, Timothy. The Restless Spirit: Profiles in Adventure. New York: Walker, 1970. Includes illustrations, maps, portraits, and a five-page bibliography along with discussions of Goodall, Wilfred Thesiger, Hugh Boustead, and Tom Harrisson.

Lindsey, Jennifer. Jane Goodall, Forty Years at Gombe: A Tribute to Four Decades of Wildlife Research, Education, and Conservation. Edited by Marisa Bulzone. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1999. This biography and tribute was produced in association with the Jane Goodall Institute. Includes color photographs and bibliography.

Montgomery, Sy. Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Biruté Galdikas. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991. A good introduction to the lives of three primatologists. Illustrated, with bibliographical references.

Pratt, Paula Bryant. Jane Goodall. San Diego, Calif.: Lucent Books, 1997. An examination of Goodall’s life, written for a young audience.