Advertisement

Dr Franz Boas

Advertisement

Dr Franz Boas Famous memorial

Birth
Minden, Kreis Minden-Lübbecke, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Death
21 Dec 1942 (aged 84)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial
Ossining, Westchester County, New York, USA
Memorial ID
6691333 View Source

Anthropologist. He helped establish anthropology in the United States on a scientific footing, while teaching at Columbia University in New York City. Many consider him the "Father of American Anthropology." He is recognized for his fight against racism, not only in the United States, but internationally. Born Franz Uri Boas, a German-born American, his grandparents practiced Judaism, but his parents did not. After studying first in 1877 at Heidelberg University, he transferred to the University of Bonn for four semesters, and then to Kiel University. In 1881, he was awarded a doctorate degree in Physics. He wrote several scientific papers while serving in the German Army for one year, being discharged in 1883. From Germany, he immigrated to Canada, studying the languages of the local Indian tribes. In 1887, he emigrated to the United States, where he first worked as an editor of the magazine "Science." In 1889, he accepted a position at Clark College in Massachusetts. In 1892, he became Chief Assistant in Anthropology at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, while an Associate of the University of Chicago. He became a Curator at the Field Museum in Chicago until 1894, and later at the Smithsonian Museum. In 1887, he married Marie Krackowizer; the couple had six children. Tragedy struck his household when an infant died at age nine months; a daughter, Gertrude, died of polio in 1924 at age 27; his son Henry died at age 26 in an auto accident in 1925; and his wife died in an auto accident in 1929. He accepted a position in 1896 as a Lecturer at Columbia University. In 1899, he became a Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, where he remained the rest of his career. While at Columbia University, he developed the foremost Department of Anthropology in the United States. He published studies of Native American languages, including "On Alternating Sounds" in 1889 and "Handbook of the American Indian Languages" in 1911. In 1911, he published "The Mind of Primitive Man," a series of lectures on culture and race. Although elderly, he was outspoken in newspaper articles against the racism used by the Nazis in Germany as well as in the public schools in the United States. During World War II, his textbooks were burnt by the Nazis, and his college degree was canceled, after it had been ceremonially reissued in 1931. In 1937, he updated and reprinted "The Mind of Primitive Man." He studied the descendants of immigrants to the United States and published his findings. Other textbooks include "Primitive Art" in 1927 and "Race, Language and Culture" in 1940. He is noted for his fieldwork among Northwest Coast Indians, for his belief that culture, not race, most influences human behavior, and for the accomplishments of his students, among whom were Edward Sapir, Margaret Mead, and Ruth Benedict. Throughout his career, he was involved with many learned societies. In 1938, he became "Professor Emeritus in Residence" at Columbia University, remaining at the university for four decades. Columbia University donated his bust to the Smithsonian Museum.

Anthropologist. He helped establish anthropology in the United States on a scientific footing, while teaching at Columbia University in New York City. Many consider him the "Father of American Anthropology." He is recognized for his fight against racism, not only in the United States, but internationally. Born Franz Uri Boas, a German-born American, his grandparents practiced Judaism, but his parents did not. After studying first in 1877 at Heidelberg University, he transferred to the University of Bonn for four semesters, and then to Kiel University. In 1881, he was awarded a doctorate degree in Physics. He wrote several scientific papers while serving in the German Army for one year, being discharged in 1883. From Germany, he immigrated to Canada, studying the languages of the local Indian tribes. In 1887, he emigrated to the United States, where he first worked as an editor of the magazine "Science." In 1889, he accepted a position at Clark College in Massachusetts. In 1892, he became Chief Assistant in Anthropology at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, while an Associate of the University of Chicago. He became a Curator at the Field Museum in Chicago until 1894, and later at the Smithsonian Museum. In 1887, he married Marie Krackowizer; the couple had six children. Tragedy struck his household when an infant died at age nine months; a daughter, Gertrude, died of polio in 1924 at age 27; his son Henry died at age 26 in an auto accident in 1925; and his wife died in an auto accident in 1929. He accepted a position in 1896 as a Lecturer at Columbia University. In 1899, he became a Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, where he remained the rest of his career. While at Columbia University, he developed the foremost Department of Anthropology in the United States. He published studies of Native American languages, including "On Alternating Sounds" in 1889 and "Handbook of the American Indian Languages" in 1911. In 1911, he published "The Mind of Primitive Man," a series of lectures on culture and race. Although elderly, he was outspoken in newspaper articles against the racism used by the Nazis in Germany as well as in the public schools in the United States. During World War II, his textbooks were burnt by the Nazis, and his college degree was canceled, after it had been ceremonially reissued in 1931. In 1937, he updated and reprinted "The Mind of Primitive Man." He studied the descendants of immigrants to the United States and published his findings. Other textbooks include "Primitive Art" in 1927 and "Race, Language and Culture" in 1940. He is noted for his fieldwork among Northwest Coast Indians, for his belief that culture, not race, most influences human behavior, and for the accomplishments of his students, among whom were Edward Sapir, Margaret Mead, and Ruth Benedict. Throughout his career, he was involved with many learned societies. In 1938, he became "Professor Emeritus in Residence" at Columbia University, remaining at the university for four decades. Columbia University donated his bust to the Smithsonian Museum.

Bio by: Linda Davis


Family Members

Spouse
Children

Flowers

In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Dr Franz Boas?

Current rating:

45 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Rick Watson
  • Added: 17 Aug 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 6691333
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6691333/franz-boas: accessed ), memorial page for Dr Franz Boas (9 Jul 1858–21 Dec 1942), Find a Grave Memorial ID 6691333, citing Dale Cemetery, Ossining, Westchester County, New York, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave .