Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Adamsons in:
 • Joy Adamson Gravesite
 • Meru National Park
 • Eastern
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Joy Adamson
Birth: Jan. 20, 1910
Opava
Moravskoslezsky (Moravian-Silesian), Czech Republic
Death: Jan. 3, 1980
Eastern, Kenya

Scientist, Author and conservationist. Born to Victor and Traute Gessner in Troppau, Silesia, Austria-Hungary now known as Opava, Czech Republic, the second of three daughters.She studied piano and the arts, among other subjects, in school. Joy came to Kenya, then a British colony, at 27. She married her third husband, game warden George Adamson, in 1944. In 1956, George shot a lion in self-defense. He discovered that she had only attacked to protect her three cubs. Rescuing the young animals, George brought them home to Joy. The two larger cubs, Lustica and the Big One, were sent to a zoo in Rotterdam. But they kept one that they named Elsa. Joy developed a close bond with the animal, which she raised. Joy would put pen to paper and author Born Free in 1960, she chronicled her relationship with Elsa and her efforts to return her to the wild. book became an international best seller, and its success put the spotlight on the need to preserve African wildlife. She wrote two more books about Elsa and her cubs, Living Free in 1961 and Forever Free in 1962. In addition to sharing her experiences and observations through writing, she established her own conservation group, the Elsa Wild Animal Appeal. In 1966, the film adaptation of Born Free became an international smash. The film starred Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna as George and Joy Adamson. By the time of the film's release, Joy had turned much of her attention to a young cheetah, which she named Pippa. Helping Pippa learn to be a wild cheetah became the subject of the 1969 book The Spotted Sphinx. In January, 1980, Joy's body was discovered by her assistant, Peter Morson (whose name has sometimes been reported as Pieter Mawson). He mistakenly assumed she had been killed by a lion, and this was what was initially reported by the media. The police investigation found Joy's wounds were too sharp and bloodless to have been caused by an animal, and concluded she had been murdered. In addition to Joy's books about big cats, a book of her artwork was published, as was an autobiography entitled The Searching Spirit. She was 69 years old at the time of her death. (bio by: Shock) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  George Adamson (1906 - 1989)
 
 Children:
  Elsa Adamson (1956 - 1961)*
  Pippa Adamson (1964 - 1969)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Joy Adamson Gravesite
Meru National Park
Eastern, Kenya
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Peter W. Many, Jr.
Record added: Nov 05, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16473602
Joy Adamson
Added by: Lucy Caldarelli
 
Joy Adamson
Added by: zenman
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- Clair H
 Added: Nov. 16, 2014

- Debi
 Added: Nov. 14, 2014

- Shock
 Added: Oct. 12, 2014
There are 423 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.3 after 107 votes)
 

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service