Famous American Anthropologists

Find out more about the greatest American Anthropologists, including Joseph Campbell, Ann Dunham, Margaret Mead, Zora Neale Hurston and Franz Boas.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Anthropologists

 1 Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston.
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Famous As: Folklorist, Anthropologist
Birthdate: January 7, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Notasulga
Died: January 28, 1960

Zora Neale Hurston was an author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. As an African American woman, she often depicted racial issues in the films she made. Her works also reflected her struggles as a black woman. In her early career, she conducted anthropological and ethnographic research and focused more on writing and film-making in her later years.

 2 Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead.
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Famous As: Cultural Anthropologist
Birthdate: December 16, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Died: November 15, 1978

 3 David Graeber

David Graeber.
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Famous As: Anthropologist, University teacher, Writer, Trade unionist
Birthdate: February 12, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius

 4 Franz Boas

Franz Boas.
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: July 9, 1858
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Minden, Westphalia, Germany
Died: December 21, 1942

 5 Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz.
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Famous As: Anthropologist, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: August 23, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Francisco
Died: October 30, 2006

 6 Ann Dunham

Ann Dunham.
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Famous As: Barack Obama's Mother
Birthdate: November 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas
Died: November 7, 1995
Ann Dunham was the mother of former U.S. President Barack Obama. She was an economic anthropologist and worked for the betterment of rural Indonesian women. She had met Barack Obama Sr. while studying at the University of Hawaii. She had worked with USAID, the Ford Foundation, and Bank Rakyat Indonesia.

 7 Chris McCandless

Christopher Johnson McCandless
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Famous As: American adventurer
Birthdate: February 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: El Segundo, California, United States
Died: August 18, 1992
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 8 Carlos Castaneda

Carlos Castaneda.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cajamarca, Peru
Died: April 27, 1998

 9 Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 7, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

 10 Ruth Benedict

Ruth Benedict
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Folklorist, University teacher, Poet, Sociologist, Biographer
Birthdate: June 5, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: September 17, 1948

 11 Edward Sapir

Edward Sapir
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Linguist, Sociolinguist, University teacher, Ethnologist
Birthdate: January 26, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lębork
Died: February 4, 1939

 12 Lewis Henry Morgan

Lewis Henry Morgan
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Birthdate: November 21, 1818
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Aurora
Died: December 17, 1881

 13 Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer.
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Birthdate: October 26, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: North Adams, Massachusetts

 14 Marshall Sahlins

Marshall Sahlins
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Educationist, University teacher
Birthdate: December 27, 1930
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago

 15 Talal Asad

Talal Asad
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Famous As: anthropologist
Birthdate: 1933 AD
Birthplace: Medina

 16 Lothrop Stoddard

Lothrop Stoddard
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Political scientist, Historian, Author, Journalist, Opinion journalist
Birthdate: June 29, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brookline
Died: May 1, 1950

 17 John Wesley Powell

John Wesely Powell.
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Famous As: Explorer, Geologist
Birthdate: March 24, 1834
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mount Morris
Died: September 23, 1902

 18 Edward S. Curtis

Edward S. Curtis
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Famous As: Photographer, Anthropologist
Birthdate: February 16, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Whitewater
Died: October 19, 1952

 19 Robert Ripley

Robert Ripley
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Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: December 25, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Santa Rosa, California, United States
Died: May 27, 1949

 20 Marvin Harris

Marvin Harris
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Famous As: Anthropologist, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: August 18, 1927
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: October 25, 2001

 21 Madison Grant

Madison Grant
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Famous As: Lawyer, Anthropologist, Racial theorist, Historian, Zoologist
Birthdate: November 19, 1865
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City
Died: May 30, 1937

 22 Edward T. Hall

Edward T. Hall
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Sociologist, University teacher
Birthdate: May 16, 1914
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Webster Groves
Died: July 20, 2009

 23 William Graham Sumner

William Graham Sumner
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Political scientist, Historian, Sociologist, Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: October 30, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey
Died: April 12, 1910

 24 Gayle Rubin

Gayle Rubin
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Famous As: Anthropologist, university teacher, essayist, LGBT rights activist
Birthdate: 1949 AD

 25 Benjamin Lee Whorf

Benjamin Lee Whorf
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Linguist
Birthdate: April 24, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Winthrop, Massachusetts
Died: July 26, 1941

 26 Nancy Scheper-Hughes

Nancy Scheper-Hughes
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Famous As: anthropologist
Birthdate: September 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City

 27 Donald Johanson

Donald Johanson
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Prehistorian, Paleoanthropologist, University teacher
Birthdate: June 28, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago

 28 Dell Hymes

Dell Hymes
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Linguist, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: June 7, 1927
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Portland
Died: November 13, 2009

 29 Carleton S. Coon

Carleton S. Coon
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Prehistorian
Birthdate: June 23, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wakefield
Died: June 3, 1981

 30 Ralph Linton

Ralph Linton
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: February 27, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: December 24, 1953

 31 Napoleon Chagnon

Napoleon Chagnon
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Famous As: anthropologist, university teacher
Birthdate: 1938 AD
Birthplace: Port Austin

 32 Clyde Kluckhohn

Clyde Kluckhohn
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: January 11, 1905
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Le Mars, Iowa, United States
Died: July 28, 1960

 33 Earnest Hooton

Earnest Hooton
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: November 20, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States
Died: May 3, 1954

 34 Harold Courlander

Harold Courlander
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Birthdate: 0000 AD

 35 Walter J. Ong

Walter J. Ong
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Historian, Writer, University teacher, Catholic priest, Literary critic, Journalist
Birthdate: November 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kansas City
Died: August 12, 2003

 36 Alfred L. Kroeber

Alfred Kroeber.
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Famous As: Cultural Anthropologist
Birthdate: June 11, 1876
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey
Died: October 5, 1960

 37 Loren Eiseley

Loren Eiseley
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Philosopher, Poet
Birthdate: September 3, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lincoln
Died: July 9, 1977

 38 Michael Tomasello

Michael Tomasello
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Psychologist
Birthdate: January 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bartow

 39 Spencer Wells

Spencer Wells
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 6, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Marietta

 40 George Murdock

George Murdock
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: May 11, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Meriden, Connecticut, United States
Died: March 29, 1985

 41 Scott Atran

Scott Atran
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Famous As: anthropologist, political scientist
Birthdate: 1952 AD
Birthplace: New York City

 42 Lewis Binford

Lewis Binford
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Famous As: Archaeologist
Birthdate: November 21, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Died: April 11, 2011

 43 Arturo Escobar

Arturo Escobar
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Famous As: anthropologist
Birthdate: 1952 AD
Birthplace: Manizales

 44 Leslie White

Leslie White
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: January 19, 1900
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Salida, Colorado, United States
Died: March 31, 1975

 45 Sidney Mintz

Sidney Mintz
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Famous As: Anthropologist, University teacher
Birthdate: November 16, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dover
Died: December 26, 2015

 46 Melville J. Herskovits

Melville J. Herskovits
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: September 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bellefontaine, Ohio, United States
Died: February 25, 1963

 47 Robert Redfield

Robert Redfield
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: December 4, 1897
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: October 16, 1958

 48 Pearl Primus

Pearl Primus
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Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: November 29, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: October 29, 1994

 49 Philippe Bourgois

Philippe Bourgois
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Famous As: anthropologist
Birthdate: 1956 AD

 50 Sherry Ortner

Sherry Ortner
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Famous As: Anthropologist, University teacher
Birthdate: September 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Newark