Jane Goodall Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall was born in London, England on April 3, 1934. Jane was the first child of Mortimer Herbert Morris-Goodall and the former Margaret Myfanwe Joseph. Her younger sister, Judy, was born in 1938. Jane's father gave her a life-like toy monkey called Jubilee, although friends thought it would scare her. Today, the toy still sits on her dresser in London. After the divorce of their parents when Jane was only 8, Jane and Judy moved with their mother to the seaside city of Bournemouth, England, where Jane's maternal grandmother and two great-aunts lived.
Goodall was interested in animals from her youth; this, coupled with her secretarial training prompted noted anthropologist Louis Leakey to hire her as his secretary during her trip to Kenya in 1957 and 1958. It was through her association with Leakey that Goodall began studying the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park (then known as Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve) in July, 1960. Leakey arranged for Goodall to return to the UK where she earned a doctorate in ethology from the University of Cambridge in 1964.
Goodall has been married twice: first, in 1964, to an aristocratic wildlife photographer, Baron Hugo van Lawick; they divorced amicably in 1974. Their son, Hugo, known as 'Grub', was born in 1967. She married Derek Bryceson, (a member of Tanzania's parliament and the director of that country's national parks) in 1975, and they remained married until his death in 1980.
Goodall is known for her landmark study of chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. In 1977, Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), which supports the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. With 19 offices around the world, the Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa and a global youth program, Roots & Shoots, which currently operates in 87 countries. Today, Dr. Goodall devotes virtually all of her time to advocating on behalf of chimpanzees and the environment, traveling nearly 300 days a year.
Dr. Goodall's many honors include the Medal of Tanzania, Japan's prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, and the Gandhi-King Award for Nonviolence. In April 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Dr. Goodall a United Nations Messenger of Peace.