Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE
Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute and
United Nations Messenger of Peace
In 1958, Jane Goodall sailed to Africa to pursue a lifelong dream of living with and writing about wild animals. After working with legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey, she was offered the rare opportunity to study wild chimpanzees on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika at the Gombe Stream Reserve. Armed with a diploma from the Queen’s Secretarial School in London and accompanied by her mother, Goodall persevered in an environment where others had lasted only months.
Her patient, unrelenting study and observation yielded surprising results. Chimpanzees fashion and use tools — a task previously thought to be a purely human characteristic — and they hunt and eat meat. Care of the young is long and close. Chimpanzees are sociable and expressive — sometimes when friends meet they fling their arms around each other in a delighted embrace. When National Geographic documented Goodall’s early discoveries in articles and television specials, “Jane Goodall” became a household name.
In 1965, Goodall founded the Gombe Stream Research Centre, and the following year earned a Ph.D. in ethology, the scientific study of animal behavior, from Cambridge University. In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute, which today is a global organization with more than 27 offices that support research at Gombe, as well as community-centered conservation programs in Africa, and youth leadership and education around the world. Goodall’s book The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior culminated the first 20 years of the Gombe research and is recognized as a milestone in the understanding of wild chimpanzee behavior.
Goodall has won numerous awards for her environmental and humanitarian work. She was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2002, and in 2004, in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles invested Goodall as a Dame of the British Empire, the female equivalent of knighthood. She has also received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Tanzania and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize, among many other honors.
For more information on Dr. Goodall and the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, please visit www.janegoodall.org.