Jane Goodall: Bio
Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE
Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute
UN Messenger of Peace
Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in
London, England. From earliest childhood, she was fascinated by animals and the
Africa she discovered in the storybooks of Tarzan
and Dr. Doolittle.
In 1957, she traveled to the Kenyan farm
of a friend's parents and met the famed anthropologist and paleontologist Dr.
Louis Leakey. In 1960, at his invitation, she began her landmark study of
chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her field research at what was
then called Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve—most notably, her discovery that
chimpanzees make and use tools—revolutionized the world of primatology and
redefined the relationship between humans and animals.
In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI)
to advance her vision and work around the world and for
generations to come. JGI continues the work at Gombe Stream Research Center and
is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It
is widely recognized for building on Dr. Goodall's groundbreaking
community-centered approach to conservation and development programs in Africa,
and for Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth
Dr. Goodall founded Roots & Shoots in
1991 with a group of Tanzanian students. The youth program connects more than
150,000 young people in nearly 100 countries, equipping them to take action to
make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment.
Today, she travels an average 300 days per
year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental
crises and her reasons for hope. In her speeches and books, she emphasizes the
interconnectedness of all living things and the collective power of individual
action, urging her audiences to recognize their personal responsibility and
ability to effect change. "Every individual matters," she says.
"Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a
Her eloquent ability to raise public
awareness and understanding has become instrumental in her work to save
chimpanzees from extinction. She is the author of numerous books that have
engaged an international readership in her life with chimpanzees. Her life and work
are the subject of numerous television documentaries, as well as the 2002 film Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees
the 2010 documentary, Jane’s Journey
Discovery Channel's Animal Planet has produced a number of features on Dr.
Goodall, including Jane Goodall’s Return
, Jane Goodall’s State of the
, When Animals Talk, Jane’s Goodall’s Heroes
, and Almost Human
Dr. Goodall is the recipient of many
honors, including the Medal of Tanzania, the National Geographic Society's
Hubbard Medal, Japan's prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in
Life Science, the UNESCO 60th Anniversary Medal, and the Gandhi/King Award for
Nonviolence. In April 2002, Secretary General Kofi Annan named Dr. Goodall a
United Nations Messenger of Peace. In a 2004 ceremony at Buckingham Palace, she
became a Dame Commander of the British Empire. In 2006, she received France's
highest recognition, the Legion of Honor.
For more information, please visit www.janegoodall.org.