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Margaret Mead

Facts, information and articles about Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist and famous woman In history

Margaret Mead (1901-1978)
Margaret Mead (1901-1978)

Margaret Mead Facts






3-Luther Cressman, Reo Fortune, Gregory Bateson


Anthropologist, author


Presidential Medal of Freedom
Her work changed how human culture is studied

Margaret Mead summary: Margaret was born on December 16, 1901 in the Pennsylvania City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. Her parents were intellectuals. Her father taught studies in finance and economy at the University of Pennsylvania and her mother was a sociologist, a political activist as well as a feminist.

She completed her undergraduate work at Barnard College and received her PhD. from Columbia University, where she studied with Dr. Ruth Benedict and Dr. Franz Boas, in 1929. In 1925, she traveled to Samoa for her fieldwork.

Her work history began in 1926 when she worked as an assistant curator at the American Museum of Natural History. She is best known for her work as a cultural anthropologist. She wrote several books, including Coming of Age in Samoa, Growing Up in New Guinea, Male and Female. Through her work, she concluded that personality differences, between genders especially, are not inherited but are the result of cultural conditioning. Her work changed how human culture is studied.

Margaret had three husbands during her life and divorced each of them. Her first husband was Luther Cressman whom she wed in 1923 and divorced in 1928, her second marriage was took place the same year, to Reo Fortune. That marriage ended in divorce in 1935. Her final marriage was to Gregory Bateson and ended in divorce in 1950. Mead and Bateson had one daughter together, Mary Catherine Bateson.

She died on November 15, 1978 in New York City. In January 1979, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter. It was presented to her daughter who is also an anthropologist.

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