Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Leakey Family

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_743

Basic Biographical Information

The Leakey family is the world’s most prolific paleoanthropologist family. Three consecutive generations have conducted research in Africa studying human origins.

Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey was born on August 7, 1903, in Kabete, Kenya, and passed away October 1, 1972. Louis’ parents were British missionaries that lived among the Kikuyu tribe in Kenya of which he was an initiated member at an early age. At an early age, Louis showed an interest in stone arrowheads and tools. He studied at Cambridge University but took a leave of absence during which he undertook his first archaeological expedition which led to multiple fossil-hunting expeditions in East Africa. This was considered an unusual step as the widely accepted paradigm was that human ancestors derived from Asia. He had a son, Colin Leakey (a plant breeder who lives in London with his wife Susan and three daughters), with first wife Frida (divorced 1936). Louis later married Mary Nicol, an...

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Further Reading

  1. Bowman-Kruhm, M. 2005. The Leakeys: a biography. Connecticut: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cole, S. 1975. Leakey’s luck. London: William Collins Sons & Co Ltd Glascow.Google Scholar
  3. The Leakey Foundation. 2012. Available at: http://leakeyfoundation.org/ (accessed 30 October 2012).
  4. Turkana Basin Institute. n.d. Leakey: a century of the family in East Africa. Available at: http://www.leakey.com/ (accessed 30 October 2012).

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia