The Leakeys
A Biography
by Mary Bowman-Kruhm
August 2005, 172pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-32985-2
$39, £30, 34€, A54
eBook Available: 978-0-313-06211-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Describes the lives of three generations of the first family of paleoanthropology, and their quest for fossil evidence of human origins.

Three generations of Leakeys have dug in East Africa for fossil evidence that answers questions about human origins. Louis and Mary, husband and wife, began what would turn into decades of research and fieldwork, often disproving common theories and beliefs of the time. Son Richard followed in his parents’ foot steps, along with his wife Meave, and made spectacular finds as well. Today, Louise, the oldest daughter of Richard and Meave, continues the family tradition with fieldwork in northern Kenya.

The Leakey family’s achievements have had an enormous impact on our knowledge of human origins and evolution. This biography describes their life in detail, including their discoveries, publications, controversies, and legacy. A timeline, glossary, and bibliography of print and electronic sources supplement the material.


"Well-researched chapters help students answer typical inquiry-based research questions. The Leakeys thoroughly recounts the history of the family....Accurate, accessible biography that goes beyond facts to create an engaging profile of exceptional personalities."—School Library Journal, March 1, 2006

"[P]resents a concise biography of three generations of the Leakey family of paleo-anthropologists. Using plain language and an informal style, Bowman-Krum recounts the personal lives of the Leakeys and describes their discoveries, publications, and impact on our understanding of human origins and evolution. Supplemental materials include a timeline and a glossary."—Reference & Research Book News, 00/00/00
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