READ Famous Anthropologists from the United States

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List of notable or famous anthropologists from the United States, with bios and photos, including the top anthropologists born in the United States and even some popular anthropologists who immigrated to the United States. If you're trying to find out the names of famous American anthropologists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These anthropologists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known anthropologist from the United States is included when available.

The list you're viewing is made up of many different people, including Yvette Mimieux and Dian Fossey.

This historic anthropologists from the United States list can help answer the questions "Who are some American anthropologists of note?" and "Who are the most famous anthropologists from the United States?" These prominent anthropologists of the United States may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected American anthropologists.

Use this list of renowned American anthropologists to discover some new anthropologists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (403 items)

1
Yvette Mimieux is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Yvette Mimieux age 76 Yvette Mimieux is a retired American movie and television actress.

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Dian Fossey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Dian Fossey Died at 53 (1932-1985) Dian Fossey was an American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist who undertook an extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years. She studied them daily in the mountain ...more

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Zora Neale Hurston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Zora Neale Hurston Died at 69 (1891-1960) Zora Neale Hurston was an American folklorist, anthropologist, and author. Of Hurston's four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 ...more

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Carlos Castaneda is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Carlos Castaneda Died at 73 (1925-1998) Carlos Castaneda was an American author with a Ph.D. in anthropology. Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his training in shamanism, ...more

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Florinda Donner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Florinda Donner age 74 Florinda Donner is an American writer and anthropologist known as one of Carlos Castaneda's "witches". She studied anthropology at UCLA but did not complete her degree, letting her ...more

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Tobias Schneebaum is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Tobias Schneebaum Died at 83 (1922-2005) Tobias Schneebaum was an American artist, anthropologist, and AIDS activist. He is best known for his experiences living, and traveling among the Harakmbut people of Peru, and the Asmat people ...more

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R. H. Barlow is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
R. H. Barlow Died at 33 (1918-1951) Robert Hayward Barlow was an American author, avant-garde poet, anthropologist and historian of early Mexico, and expert in the Nahuatl language. He was a correspondent and friend of horror ...more

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Henry Field is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Henry Field Died at 84 (1902-1986) Henry Field was an American anthropologist and archaeologist. Henry Field was born in Chicago. He was a great nephew of the merchant Marshall Field and a great nephew of Barbour Lathrop. Field ...more

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Jesse Fewkes is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Jesse Fewkes Died at 80 (1850-1930) Jesse Walter Fewkes was an American anthropologist, archaeologist, writer and naturalist.

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William Foote Whyte is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
William Foote Whyte Died at 86 (1914-2000) William Foote Whyte was a sociologist chiefly known for his ethnographic study in urban sociology, Street Corner Society. A pioneer in participant observation, he lived for four years in an ...more

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Jerald T. Milanich is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Jerald T. Milanich Jerald T. Milanich is an American anthropologist and archaeologist, specializing in Native American culture in Florida. He is Curator Emeritus of Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural ...more

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Edward Sapir is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Edward Sapir Died at 55 (1884-1939) Edward Sapir was an American anthropologist-linguist, who is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in the early development of the discipline of linguistics. Sapir was born ...more

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James Owen Dorsey is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
James Owen Dorsey Died at 47 (1848-1895) James Owen Dorsey was an American ethnologist, linguist, and Episcopalian missionary in the Dakota Territory, who contributed to the description of the Ponca, Omaha, and other southern Siouan ...more

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Robert Francis Murphy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Robert Francis Murphy Died at 66 (1924-1990) Robert Francis Murphy was an American anthropologist and professor of anthropology at Columbia University in New York City, from the early 1960s to 1990. His field work included studies of the ...more

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Erna Gunther is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Erna Gunther Died at 86 (1896-1982) Erna Gunther was an American anthropologist who taught for many years at the University of Washington in Seattle. Gunther's work on ethnobotany is still extensively consulted today.

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Clifford Geertz is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Clifford Geertz Died at 80 (1926-2006) Clifford James Geertz was an American anthropologist who is remembered mostly for his strong support for and influence on the practice of symbolic anthropology, and who was considered "for ...more

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Jane E Buikstra is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Jane E Buikstra age 73 Jane Ellen Buikstra is an American anthropologist and bioarchaeologist. She is credited with coining and defining bioarchaeology in the US as the application of biological anthropological ...more

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Livingston Farrand is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Livingston Farrand Died at 72 (1867-1939) Livingston Farrand, M.D., LL.D. was an American physician, anthropologist, psychologist, public health advocate and academic administrator.

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Timothy Pauketat is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Timothy Pauketat Dr. Timothy R. Pauketat is an “American Bottom” Mississippian-era archaeologist and professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He is best known for his ...more

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Anne Allison is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Anne Allison age 68 Anne Allison is a professor of cultural anthropology at Duke University in the United States, specializing in contemporary Japanese society. She wrote the book Nightwork on hostess clubs and ...more

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Stuart Struever is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Stuart Struever age 86 Stuart McKee Struever is an American archaeologist and anthropologist best known for his contributions to the archaeology of the Woodland Period in the US midwest and for his leadership of ...more

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Ted Polhemus is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Ted Polhemus age 71 Ted Polhemus is an American anthropologist, writer, and photographer who lives and works on England's south coast. His work focuses on fashion and anti-fashion, identity, and the sociology of ...more

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Sven Haakanson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Sven Haakanson age 51 Sven Haakanson, Jr. is an American anthropologist who has specialized in documenting and preserving the language and culture of the Alutiiq. He is former Executive Director of the Alutiiq Museum ...more

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Frederick Starr is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Frederick Starr Died at 75 (1858-1933) Frederick Starr, aka Ofuda Hakushi in Japan, was an American academic, anthropologist, and "populist educator" born at Auburn, New York.

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Scott Atran is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Scott Atran age 66 Scott Atran is an American and French anthropologist who is a Director of Research in Anthropology at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, Senior Research Fellow at Oxford ...more

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John Reed Swanton is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
John Reed Swanton Died at 85 (1873-1958) John Reed Swanton was an American anthropologist and linguist who worked with Native American peoples throughout the United States. Swanton achieved recognition in the fields of ethnology and ...more

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Victor Wolfgang Von Hagen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Victor Wolfgang Von Hagen Died at 77 (1908-1985) Victor Wolfgang von Hagen was an American explorer, archaeological historian, anthropologist, and travel writer who traveled in South America with his wife. Mainly between 1940 and 1965, he ...more

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Ian Tattersall is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Ian Tattersall age 72 Ian Tattersall is a British-born American paleoanthropologist and a curator emeritus with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, New York. In addition to human evolution, ...more

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Sol Tax is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Sol Tax Died at 88 (1907-1995) Sol Tax was an American anthropologist. He is best known for creating action anthropology and his studies of the Meskwaki, or Fox, Indians, for "action-anthropological" research titled ...more

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Wallace L Chafe is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Wallace L Chafe age 91 Wallace Chafe is an American linguist. He is Professor Emeritus and research professor at The University of California, Santa Barbara. Chafe was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He graduated ...more

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E. Adamson Hoebel is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
E. Adamson Hoebel Died at 87 (1906-1993) E. Adamson Hoebel was Regents Professor Emeritus of anthropology at the University of Minnesota. He held a PhD in anthropology from Columbia University, where he also attended the seminars of ...more

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Maxine L. Margolis is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Maxine L. Margolis age 76 Maxine L. Margolis is an American anthropologist and an inductee of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and ...more

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Edmund Snow Carpenter is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Edmund Snow Carpenter Died at 89 (1922-2011) Edmund "Ted" Snow Carpenter was an anthropologist best known for his work on tribal art and visual media.

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Josh Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Josh Bernstein age 47 Josh Bernstein is an American explorer, author, survival expert, anthropologist, and TV host best known as the host of Digging for the Truth. He later appeared for one season as the host of the ...more

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Robert Ripley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Robert Ripley Died at 59 (1890-1949) LeRoy Robert Ripley, better know by the name Robert Ripley, was an American cartoonist, entrepreneur, and amateur anthropologist, who is known for creating the Ripley's Believe It or Not! ...more

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Brian J. McVeigh is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Brian J. McVeigh age 59 Brian J. McVeigh is a scholar of Asia who specializes in Japanese pop art, education, politics, and history. He is also a theorist of cultural psychology and historical changes in human ...more

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Russell L Ciochon is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Russell L Ciochon age 70 Russell Ciochon is an American paleoanthropologist. He was born in Altadena, California and received three degrees in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently a ...more

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William Jones is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
William Jones Died at 38 (1871-1909) William Jones was a Native American anthropologist of the Fox nation. Born in Oklahoma on March 28, 1871, after studying at Hampton Institute he graduated from Phillips Academy and went on to ...more

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William W. Howells is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
William W. Howells Died at 97 (1908-2005) Dr. William White Howells was a professor of anthropology at Harvard University. His most notable research concluded that modern humans are of one species. Howells, grandson of the novelist ...more

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Gilbert H. Herdt is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Gilbert H. Herdt age 69 Gilbert H. Herdt is Professor of Human Sexuality Studies and Anthropology and a Founder of the Department of Sexuality Studies and National Sexuality Resource Center at San Francisco State

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Jeffrey Meldrum is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Jeffrey Meldrum age 60 Don Jeffrey "Jeff" Meldrum is a Full Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology and a Professor of the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University. Meldrum is also Adjunct ...more

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Tom D Dillehay is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Tom D Dillehay age 70 Tom Dillehay is an American anthropologist who is the Rebecca Webb Wilson University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Religion, and Culture and Professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt ...more

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Ruth Benedict is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Ruth Benedict Died at 61 (1887-1948) Ruth Fulton Benedict was an American anthropologist and folklorist. She was born in New York City]], attended Vassar College and graduated in 1909. She entered graduate studies at Columbia ...more

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Munro S. Edmonson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Munro S. Edmonson Died at 78 (1924-2002) Munro Sterling Edmonson was an American linguist and anthropologist, renowned for his contributions to the study of Mesoamerican languages and Mesoamerican cultural heritage. At the time of his ...more

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Arjun Appadurai is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Arjun Appadurai age 69 Arjun Appadurai is a contemporary social-cultural anthropologist recognised as a major theorist in globalization studies. In his anthropological work, he discusses the importance of the ...more

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Grenville Goodwin is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Grenville Goodwin Died at 33 (1907-1940) Grenville Goodwin, born Greenville Goodwin, is best known for his participant-observer ethnology work among the Western Apache in the 1930s in the American Southwest. Largely self-taught as an ...more

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Alfred L. Kroeber is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Alfred L. Kroeber Died at 84 (1876-1960) Alfred Louis Kroeber was an American cultural anthropologist. He received his Ph.D. under Franz Boas at Columbia University in 1901, the first doctorate in anthropology awarded by Columbia. He ...more

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Lesley Gill is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Lesley Gill Lesley Gill is an author and a professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University. Her research focusses on political violence, gender, free market reforms and human rights in Latin America, ...more

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Jeffrey Anderson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Jeffrey Anderson Jeffrey D. Anderson is an American anthropologist who specializes in Arapaho culture and Arapaho language and culture. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he studied ...more

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Judith Shapiro is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Anthropologists from the United States
Judith Shapiro age 76 Judith R. Shapiro is a former President of Barnard College, a liberal arts college for women affiliated with Columbia University; as President of Barnard, she was also an academic dean within ...more