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Jane Goodall created one of the most trailblazing studies of primates in modern times when she dwelled with Tanzanian chimps to observe their behavior.
A short biography of Jane Goodall who made it her lifelong quest to teach the world about chimpanzees. Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute to help Africans in poverty and animal conservation.
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Born on April 3, 1934, in London, England, Jane Goodall set out to Tanzania to study wild chimpanzees by sitting amongst them, bypassing more rigid procedures and uncovering discoveries about primate behavior that have continued to shape scientific discourse. She is a highly respected member of the world scientific community and is a staunch advocate of ecological preservation.
"Chimpanzees ... have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest...never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment."
"The greatest danger to our future is apathy."
"The more we learn of the true nature of nonhuman animals ... the more ethical concerns are raised regarding their use in the service of man."
"By and large, students are taught that it is ethically acceptable to perpetrate, in the name of science, what, from the point-of-view of animals, would certainly qualify as torture."
"One of my earliest recollections is of the day that I hid in a small stuffy henhouse in order to see how a hen laid an egg. I emerged after about five hours. The whole household had apparently been searching for me for hours, and mother had even rung the police to report me missing."
"Young people, when informed and empowered, when they realize that what they do truly makes a difference, can indeed change the world. They are changing it already."
"When I first started ... I thought the chimps were nicer than we are. But time has revealed that they are not. They can be just as awful."
"To achieve global peace, we must not only stop fighting each other, but also stop destroying the natural world."
"[Chimps] have a dark side just as we do. We have less excuse, because we can deliberate, so I believe only we are capable of true calculated evil."
"If we are the most intellectual creature that ever walked on the planet, why are we destroying that planet?"
"My future is so ridiculous. I just squat here, chimp-like, on my rocks, pulling out prickles and thorns, and laugh to think of this unknown 'Miss Goodall' who is said to be doing scientific research somewhere."
Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in London, England, to Mortimer Herbert Goodall, a businessperson and motor-racing enthusiast, and the former Margaret Myfanwe Joseph, who wrote novels under the name Vanne Morris Goodall. Along with her sister, Judy, Goodall was reared in London and Bournemouth, England. Her fascination with animal behavior began in early childhood. In her leisure time, she observed native birds and animals, making extensive notes and sketches, and read widely in the literature of zoology and ethology. From an early age, she dreamed of traveling to Africa to observe exotic animals in their natural habitats.
Goodall attended the Uplands private school, receiving her school certificate in 1950 and a higher certificate in 1952. At age 18 she left school and found employment as a secretary at Oxford University. In her spare time, she worked at a London-based documentary film company to finance a long-anticipated trip to Africa. At the invitation of a childhood friend, she visited South Kinangop, Kenya. Through other friends, she soon met the famed anthropologist Louis Leakey, then curator of the Coryndon Museum in Nairobi. Leakey hired her as a secretary and invited her to participate in an anthropological dig at the now famous Olduvai Gorge, a site rich in fossilized prehistoric remains of early ancestors of humans. In addition, Goodall was sent to study the vervet monkey, which lives on an island in Lake Victoria.
Leakey believed that a long-term study of the behavior of higher primates would yield important evolutionary information. He had a particular interest in the chimpanzee, the second most intelligent primate. Few studies of chimpanzees had been successful; either the size of the safari frightened the chimps, producing unnatural behaviors, or the observers spent too little time in the field to gain comprehensive knowledge. Leakey believed that Goodall had the proper temperament to endure long-term isolation in the wild. At his prompting, she agreed to attempt such a study. Many experts objected to Leakey's selection of Goodall because she had no formal scientific education and lacked even a general college degree.
While Leakey searched for financial support for the proposed Gombe Reserve project, Goodall returned to England to work on an animal documentary for Granada Television. On July 16, 1960, accompanied by her mother and an African cook, she returned to Africa and established a camp on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in the Gombe Stream Reserve. Her first attempts to observe closely a group of chimpanzees failed; she could get no nearer than 500 yards before the chimps fled.
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