Kenya’s Leakey Who Helped Prove Humans Evolved in Africa Dies

The paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, renowned for uncovering evidence that humanity’s ancestors evolved in Africa has died at the age of 77, President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced. Leaky was born on December 19, 1944 in Nairobi, Kenya.

He was the son of internationally renowned anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey whose research focused on ancestral hominids. The National Geographic Society gave Leakey his first grant at age 23 to dig on the shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya.

Leakey’s expeditions in the 1970s altered many’s understanding of human evolution, especially with the discovery of a 1.9-million-year-old skull of Homo habilis in 1972 and a 1.6-million-year-old skull of Homo erectus in 1975. In 1981, Leakey narrated a seven-part BBC series called “The Making of Mankind.” In 1984, he uncovered a near complete Homo erectus skeleton that became known as “Turkana Boy.”

Keyan Paleoanthropologist, Richard Leakey.


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