Margaret Mead
December 16, 1901 - November 15, 1978

Margaret was born, the oldest of four children to parents who were both educators in Philadelphia. Margaret was very close to her mother and her grandmother. When Margaret graduated from high school in 1918 she enrolled in her father's Alma Mater, DePauw University. She later transferred to Barnard College, against her father's wishes. She became interested in anthropology, the study of how people in different cultures act and behave, while she attended Barnard.

Margaret got married in 1923, continued to work on her graduate work, and hoped to have a large family. Her doctor told her she could not have children. In 1925 Margaret traveled to Pago Pago, a Poynesian Island and returned in 1926 to write her first book. She also divorced her first husband and married her second husband. She moved to New Guinea with her new husband and began to study how children grew up in the Manus culture and the Samoan culture. Over the next several years Margaret had opportunities to study many other cultures as well. Margaret began to realize that men and women in different cultures were different from men and women in other parts of the world. She decided that male and female traits were influenced by different cultures and societies, not just biology.

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In 1935 Margaret got another divorce and remarried again. Margaret traveled with her new husband to Indonesia and was very happy to find that she was pregnant with a daughter she named Mary Catherine Bateson. Margaret returned to the United States when World War II broke out and founded the Institute for Intercultural Studies. After the war Margaret returned to Manus and studied how the war had affected the people in that region.

Margaret spent most of her life studying people from different parts of the world and teaching at a number of institutions. She wrote many books and received twenty honorary doctorates. Margaret was known as an interpreter of world events. She helped people think about themselves and other people in new and different ways.

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