Richard E. Leakey

As a young boy, Richard followed his parents during their excavations. He loved to explore the outdoors and ran around a lot on his own. The archaeological work he found uninspiring and decided in his twenties to devote his life to other activities.

Leakey was kicked out from secondary school, since he advocated equality between blacks and whites. By his father, who was himself sworn anti-racist, Richard was faced to decide whether to return to school or support himself. He chose the latter.

Via his own safari business, and later as a supplier of wildlife bone parts to various scientific clients he was forced to reluctantly admit to himself that archeology had its points. By chance, he was responsible for an excavation in Ethiopia where, among other things, the hitherto oldest fossils of Homo sapiens was found, 160,000 years old.
Via remarkable findings at Koobi Fora in the Turkana basin began a brilliant career as an archaeologist, paleontologist and author.
Richard Leakey is still active in politics, mostly as a knowledgeable and stubborn defender of the East African wild life.

A long time collaborator tells of how he anguished approached the sick room where the former powerhouse Richard Leakey recovered after lost both legs in an air crasch. His anxiety dropped the moment he entered the room and was greeted by the words: Bring me a fax at lightning speed, I have to send some documents!

On the web there are a number of biographies of this remarkable man.

Books he has written himself, with others, or books about him :

 

Richard Leakey;
Roger Lewin

Origins

1977

Richard Leakey;
Roger Lewin

People of the lake : Mankind and its beginnings

1978

Richard Leakey

How the Zebra Got Its Stripes

1978

Richard Leakey

The Illustrated Origin of Species by CHARLES DARWIN

1979

Richard Leakey

The making of mankind

1981

Richard E. Leakey;
Glynn Llywelyn Isaac

Human Ancestors: Readings from Scientific American

1981

Richard Leakey

Human origins

1982

Richard Leakey

One Life: An Autobiography

1984

Richard Leakey;
Roger Lewin

Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human

1992

Richard Leakey

People of the Lake

1993

Richard Leakey;
Roger Lewin

The Nariokotome Homo Erectus Skeleton

1993

Richard Leakey;
Alan Walker

Man-Ape, Ape-Man: The Quest for Human's Place in Nature and Dubois' missing Link

1994

Richard E. Leakey;
L. J. Slikkerveer

The Origin of Humankind

1994

Richard Leakey;
Roger Lewin

The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of Mankind

1995

Virginia Morell

Wildlife wars: My fight to save Africa's elephants

2001

Richard Leakey

Southeast Africa: 1880 To the Present

2002

Richard Leakey

People of the Past

2003

Richard Leakey

Great Civilizations

2003