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Jane Goodall

Dame Valerie Jane Goodall, DBE (born April 3, 1934) is an English primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist, probably best-known for conducting a forty-five year study of chimpanzee social and family life, as director of the Jane Goodall Institute in Gombe Stream National Parkin Tanzania.


Goodall was born in London, England. Goodall's father gave her a life-like chimpanzee toy named Jubilee, although friends believed it would scare her. Today, the toy still sits on her dresser in London. After the divorce of her parents when Jane was only 8, Jane moved with her mother to Bournemouth, England, where her grandmother and two great-aunts lived.

Goodall was interested in animals from her youth; this, coupled with her secretarial training prompted noted anthropologist Louis Leakey to hire her as his secretary during her trip to Kenya in 1957 and 1958. It was through her association with Leakey that Goodall began studying the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park (then known as Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve) in July, 1960. Leakey arranged for Goodall to return to the United Kingdom where she earned a doctorate in ethology from the University of Cambridge in 1964.

Goodall has been married twice: first, in 1963, to an aristocratic wildlife photographer, Baron Hugo van Lawick; they divorced in 1974. Their son, Hugo, known as 'Grub', was born in 1967. She married Derek Bryceson, (a member of Tanzania’s parliament and the director of that country’s national parks) in 1975, and they remained married until his death in 1980.

Goodall has received many honors for her environmental and humanitarian work as well as others. She was named a Dame Commander of the British Empire in a ceremony held in Buckingham Palace in 2004. In April 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Dr Goodall a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Her other honors include the [Medal of Tanzania, Japan's prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, and the Gandhi-King Award for Nonviolence. She is also a member of the advisory board of BBC Wildlife magazine.

She suffers from Prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness.

Professional accomplishments

Orphaned by poachers, young chimpanzees are raised by volunteers and researchers at the Tchimpounga Sanctuary (part of the JGI) in the Congo.

Jane is best-known for her forty-five year study of chimpanzee social and family life. In 1977, Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), which supports the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. With 19 offices around the world, the Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa and a global youth program, Roots & Shoots, which currently has over 8,000 groups in 96 countries. Today, Dr Goodall devotes virtually all of her time to advocating on behalf of chimpanzees and the environment, traveling nearly 300 days a year.

Goodall was instrumental in the of social learning, thinking, acting, and culture in wild chimpanzees, their differentiation from the bonobo, and the inclusion of both species along with the gorilla as Hominids.

One of Goodall's major contributions to the field of primatology was the discovery of tool use in chimpanzees. She discovered that some chimpanzees poke pieces of grass into termite mounds. The termites would grab onto the blade of grass with their mandibles and the chimpanzees would then just pull the grass out and eat the termites. Previously, only humans were thought to use tools, and tool-making was considered the defining difference between humans and other animals. This discovery convinced several scientists to reconsider their definition of being human. Another characteristic of the chimpanzee that Jane Goodall discovered was their cooperative hunting of red colobus monkeys.

Goodall also set herself apart from the traditional conventions of the time in her study of primates by naming the animals she studied, instead of assigning each a number. This numbering was a nearly universal practice at the time, and thought to be important in the removal of one's self from the potential for emotional attachment to the subject being studied.


In 2002, Jane Goodall announced she believes in the existence of undiscovered primates including bigfoot and yeti and believes the scientific community should attempt to locate and study these primates.

Identifying herself as a "romantic" who had "always wanted them to exist," Jane Goodall explained her belief in primates like bigfoot. On September 27, 2002, during an interview with Ira Flatow for NPR, Jane Goodall elaborated upon her long held belief.

"Yeah. I've talked to so many Native Americans who all describe the same sounds, two who have seen them. I've probably got about, oh, thirty books that have come from different parts of the world, from China from, from all over the place, and there was a little tiny snippet in the newspaper just last week which says that British scientists have found what they believed to be a yeti hair and that the scientists in the Natural History Museum in London couldn't identify it as any known animal."

She acknowledged the extraordinary nature of her belief and agreed that "of course, the big, the big criticism of all this is, 'Where is the body?' You know; why isn't there a body? I can't answer that, and maybe they don't exist. But I want them to."

Traces of these mysterious "primates" have been found, but there is no hard evidence that these creatures actually exist. (see Cryptozoology)


  • 1980: Order of the Golden Ark, World Wildlife Award for Conservation
  • 1984: J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize
  • 1985: Living Legacy Award from the International Women's League
  • Society of the United States; Award for Humane Excellence, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • 1987: Albert Schweitzer Prize
  • 1989: Encyclopaedia Britannica Award for Excellence on the Dissemination of Learning for the Benefit of Mankind; Anthropologist of the Year Award
  • 1990: The AMES Award, American Anthropologist Association; Whooping Crane Conservation Award, Conoco, Inc.; Gold Medal of the Society of Women Geographers; Inamori Foundation Award; Washoe Award; The Kyoto Prize in Basic Science
  • 1991: The Edinburgh Medal
  • 1993: Rainforest Alliance Champion Award
  • 1994: Chester Zoo Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 1995: Commander of the British Empire, presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; The National Geographic Society Hubbard Medal for Distinction in Exploration, Discovery, and Research; Lifetime Achievement Award, In Defense of Animals; The Moody Gardens Environmental Award; Honorary Wardenship of Uganda National Parks
  • 1996: The Zoological Society of London Silver Medal; The Tanzanian Kilimanjaro Medal; The Primate Society of Great Britain Conservation Award; The Caring Institute Award; The Polar Bear Award; William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement
  • 1997: John & Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement; David S. Ingells, Jr. Award for Excellence; Common Wealth Award for Public Service; The Field Museum's Award of Merit; Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement; Royal Geographical Society / Discovery Channel Europe Award for A Lifetime of Discovery
  • 1998: Disney's Animal Kingdom Eco Hero Award; National Science Board Public Service Award; The Orion Society’s John Hay Award
  • 1999: International Peace Award; Botanical Research Institute of Texas International Award of Excellence in Conservation, Community of Christ International Peace Award
  • 2001: Graham J. Norton Award for Achievement in Increasing Community Livability; Rungius Award of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, USA; Roger Tory Peterson Memorial Medal, Harvard Museum of Natural History; Master Peace Award; Gandhi/King Award for Non-Violence
  • 2002: The Huxley Memorial Medal, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland; United Nations “Messenger of Peace” Appointment
  • 2003: Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science; Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment Award; Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Achievement; Dame of the British Empire, presented by His Royal Highness Prince Charles; Chicago Academy of Sciences’ Honorary Environmental Leader Award
  • 2004: Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest; Will Rogers Spirit Award, the Rotary Club of Will Rogers and Will Rogers Memorial Museums; Life Time Achievement Award, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW); Honorary Degree from Haverford College
  • 2005: Honorary doctorate degree in science from Syracuse University
  • 2005: Presented with Discovery and Imagination Award
  • 2006: Received the 60th Anniversary Medal of the UNESCO and the French Légion d'honneur.


Books for adults

  • 1969 My Friends the Wild Chimpanzees Washington, DC: National Geographic Society
  • 1971 Innocent Killers (with H. van Lawick). Boston: Houghton Mifflin; London: Collins.
  • 1971 In the Shadow of Man Boston: Houghton Mifflin; London: Collins. Published in 48 languages.
  • 1986 The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior Boston: Bellknap Press of the Harvard University Press. Published also in Japanese and Russian. R.R. Hawkins Award for the Outstanding Technical, Scientific or Medical book of 1986, to Bellknap Press of Harvard University Press, Boston. The Wildlife Society (USA) Award for "Outstanding Publication in Wildlife Ecology and Management".
  • 1990 Through a Window: 30 years observing the Gombe chimpanzees London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Translated into more than 15 languages. 1991 Penguin edition, UK. American Library Association "Best" list among Nine Notable Books (Nonfiction) for 1991.
  • 1993 Visions of Caliban (co-authored with Dale Peterson, Ph.D.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. New York Times "Notable Book" for 1993. Library Journal "Best Sci-Tech Book" for 1993.
  • 1999 Brutal Kinship (with Michael Nichols). New York: Aperture Foundation.
  • 1999 Reason For Hope; A Spiritual Journey (with Phillip Berman). New York: Warner Books, Inc. Translated into Japanese.
  • 2000 40 Years At Gombe New York: Stewart, Tabori, and Chang.
  • 2000 Africa In My Blood (edited by Dale Peterson). New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • 2001 Beyond Innocence: An Autobiography in Letters, the later years (edited by Dale Peterson). New York: Houghton Mifflin Company
  • 2002 The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do To Care for the Animals We Love (with Marc Bekoff). San Francisco: Harper San Francisco
  • 2005 Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating New York: Warner Books, Inc. ISBN 0-446-53362-9
  • Lawick-Goodall, J. van (1965) New discoveries among wild chimpanzees, National Geographic 128: 802-31.
  • Lawick-Goodall, J.S. van (1974) In the Shadow of Man, London: Collins.

Children's Books

  • 1972 Grub: The Bush Baby (with H. van Lawick). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • 1988 My Life with the Chimpanzees New York: Byron Preiss Visual Publications, Inc. Translated into French, Japanese and Chinese. Parenting's Reading-Magic Award for "Outstanding Book for Children," 1989.
  • 1989 The Chimpanzee Family Book Saxonville, MA: Picture Book Studio; Munich: Neugebauer Press; London: Picture Book Studio. Translated into more than 15 languages, including Japanese and Kiswahili. The UNICEF Award for the best children's book of 1989. Austrian state prize for best children's book of 1990.
  • 1989 Jane Goodall's Animal World: Chimps New York: Macmillan.
  • 1989 Animal Family Series: Chimpanzee Family; Lion Family; Elephant Family; Zebra Family; Giraffe Family; Baboon Family; Hyena Family; Wildebeest Family Toronto: Madison Marketing Ltd.
  • 1994 With Love New York / London: North-South Books. Translated into German, French, Italian, and Japanese.
  • 1999 Dr. White (illustrated by Julie Litty). New York: North-South Books.
  • 2000 The Eagle & the Wren (illustrated by Alexander Reichstein). New York: North-South Books.
  • 2001 Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Ours New York: Scholastic Press
  • 2004 Rickie and Henri: A True Story (with Alan Marks) Penguin Young Readers Group


  • 1963 Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees National Geographic Society
  • 1984 Among the Wild Chimpanzees National Geographic Special
  • 1988 People of the Forest with Hugo van Lawick
  • 1990 Chimpanzee Alert in the Nature Watch Series, Central Television
  • 1990 Chimps, So Like Us HBO film nominated for 1990 Academy Award
  • 1990 The Life and Legend of Jane Goodall National Geographic Society.
  • 1990 The Gombe Chimpanzees Bavarian Television
  • 1995 Fifi's Boys for the Natural World series for the BBC
  • 1996 Chimpanzee Diary for BBC2 Animal Zone
  • 1997 Animal Minds for BBC
  • 2000 Jane Goodall: Reason For Hope PBS special produced by KTCA
  • 2001 Chimps R Us PBS special Scientific Frontiers.
  • 2002 Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees (IMAX format), in collaboration with Science North

(This list is mostly taken from

See also

  • USC Jane Goodall Research Center

External links

ca:Jane Goodall cs:Jane Goodallová de:Jane Goodall es:Jane Van-Lawick Goodall eo:Jane Goodall fr:Jane Goodall gl:Jane Goodall he:ג'יין גודול hu:Jane Goodall nl:Jane Goodall pt:Jane Goodall sv:Jane Goodall ta:குட்டால் zh:珍·古道尔

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