Jane Goodall

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


Goodall is known for her landmark study of chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. 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 operates in 87 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. Dr. Goodall’s many 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. In April 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Dr. Goodall a United Nations "Messenger of Peace."

Goodall was born in London, England, the first child of Mortimer Herbert Morris-Goodall and the former Margaret Myfanwe "Vanne" Joseph. Her sister, Judy, was born in 1938. After the divorce of their parents, Jane and Judy moved with their mother to Bournemouth, England, where Vanne's mother and two sisters lived in a home.

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

Leakey also 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 1964, to wildlife photographer Hugo van Lawick; they divorced amicably in 1974. Their son, Hugo, known as 'Grub', was born in 1967. She then married Derek Bryceson, (a member of Tanzania’s parliament and the director of that country’s national parks) in the mid-1970s, until his death in 1980.

Professional accomplishments

Goodall was instrumental in the recognition 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 twigs into termite mounds. The termites would grab onto the stick with their mandibles and the chimpanzees would then just pull the stick out and eat the termites. Previously, only humans were thought to use tools.

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.

Goodall is an advocate for environmental and humanitarian causes, having served as a United Nations Messenger of Peace since 2002. She was named a Dame of the British Empire (DBE) in a ceremony held in Buckingham Palace in 2004.

She has also appeared (cast as herself) in an episode of Nickelodeon's animated series The Wild Thornberrys entitled "The Trouble With Darwin". She's also a character in Irregular Webcomic!'s "Steve and Terry" theme. A parody of Goodall featured her as a diamond-hoarding chimpanzee slave driver in an episode of The Simpsons.

She is on the advisory board of BBC Wildlife magazine.

Far Side controversy

One of Gary Larson's The Far Side cartoons shows two chimpanzees grooming. One finds a human hair on the other and inquires about "doing a little more 'research' with that Jane Goodall tramp?"

The Goodall Institute thought this was in bad taste, and had their lawyers draft a letter to Larson and his distribution syndicate, in which they described the cartoon as an "atrocity". They were stymied, however, by Goodall herself, who revealed that she found the cartoon amusing. Since then, all profits from sales of a shirt featuring this cartoon go to the Goodall Institute.

Goodall wrote a preface to The Far Side Gallery 5, detailing the "Jane Goodall Tramp" controversy, and also praising The Far Side for Larson's creative ideas, which often compare and contrast the behavior of humans and animals. Larson also described the controversy in detail in The PreHistory of The Far Side (p.167).

In 1988 Gary Larson visited Gombe National Park and was attacked by Frodo, a chimp described by Goodall as a "bully". Larson escaped with cuts and bruises.


  • 1963-64: Franklin Burr Award for Contribution to Science, National Geographic Society
  • 1970: Stott Science Award, Cambridge University
  • 1974: Gold Medal for Conservation, San Diego Zoological Society; Conservation Award, Women's Branch of the New York Zoological Society; Brad Washburn Award, Boston Museum of Science (with Hugo van Lawick)
  • 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
  • 1987: The Albert Schweitzer Award of the Animal Welfare Institute; National Alliance for Animals Award; E. Mendel Medaille from the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina; Golden Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement
  • 1988: Centennial Award, National Geographic Society; Joseph Krutch Award, the Humane Society of the United States; Award for Humane Excellence, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • 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
  • 2000: Reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints International Peace Award
  • 2001: Graham J. Norton Award for Achievement in Increasing Community Liability; 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)
  • 2005: Honorary doctorate degree in science from Syracuse University


Books for adults

  • 1970 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

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

Publication list mostly taken from [1]

External links

de:Jane Goodall es:Jane Van-Lawick Goodall eo:Jane GOODALL fr:Jane Goodall gl:Jane Goodall nl:Jane Goodall pl:Jane Goodall pt:Jane Goodall sv:Jane Goodall zh:珍·古道尔