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Donald Johanson

Donald JohansonAKA Donald Carl Johanson

Born: 28-Jun-1943
Birthplace: Chicago, IL

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Anthropologist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Discovered "Lucy" fossils

Donald Johanson is famed for his discovery in Ethiopia of AL 288-1, the 3.18 million year Australopithecus afarensis fossils now better known as "Lucy". Unearthed 24 November 1974, the discovery pushed back the known date of hominid bipedalism to a significantly earlier period than was previously accepted, supporting earlier theories by Louis Leakey. Other significant finds by Johanson have included a group of 2.5 million year old stone tools as well as the so-called "First Family", a 3.2 million year old group of fossils representing 13 different individuals of varying ages. Due to political conditions in Ethiopia, Johanson's work in the region has been halted. He currently teaches at Arizona State University and heads the Institute of Human Origins, a non-profit research organization focusing on studies in prehistory. His publications include Lucy: The Beginnings Of Humankind, which received the 1981 American Book Award in Science.

Wife: (married)

    University: MA, University of Chicago (1970)
    University: PhD, University of Chicago (1974)
    Professor: Case Western Reserve University
    Scholar: Arizona State University

    Cleveland Museum of Natural History Curator, 1974-
    American Book Award 1981 (science)
    Academy of Achievement (1976)
    Royal Geographical Society
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    Swedish Ancestry

Official Website:

Author of books:
Lucy: The Beginnings of Human Evolution (1981, with Maitland Edey)
Blueprints: Solving the Mystery of Evolution (1989, with Maitland Edey)
Lucy's Child: The Discovery of a Human Ancestor (1989, with J. Shreeve)
Journey from the Dawn (1990, with K. O'Farrell)

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