Louis Leakey

1903 - 1972

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Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey (7 August 1903 – 1 October 1972) was a Kenyan/British paleoanthropologist and archaeologist whose work was important in demonstrating that humans evolved in Africa, particularly through discoveries made at Olduvai Gorge with his wife, fellow paleontologist Mary Leakey. Having established a program of palaeoanthropological inquiry in eastern Africa, he also motivated many future generations to continue this scholarly work. Several members of Leakey's family became prominent scholars themselves.Another of Leakey's legacies stems from his role in fostering field research of primates in their natural habitats, which he saw as key to understanding human evolution. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Louis Leakey has received more than 655,186 page views. His biography is available in 45 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 43 in 2019). Louis Leakey is the 15th most popular archaeologist (down from 14th in 2019), the 6th most popular biography from Kenya (down from 5th in 2019) and the most popular Kenyan Archaeologist.

Louis Leakey is most famous for his discovery of the Zinjanthropus skull in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. He also discovered the Homo Habilis skull in 1960.

Memorability Metrics

  • 660k

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  • 68.85

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 45

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 5.19

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.10

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among archaeologists, Louis Leakey ranks 15 out of 104Before him are Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, Louis Agassiz, Zahi Hawass, George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, Ciriaco de' Pizzicolli, and Christian Jürgensen Thomsen. After him are Aurel Stein, Oscar Montelius, Flinders Petrie, Karl Richard Lepsius, Austen Henry Layard, and Alcide d'Orbigny.

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Among people born in 1903, Louis Leakey ranks 63Before him are Tamam Shud case, Raymond Radiguet, Ernest Walton, Giulio Natta, Prince Charles, Count of Flanders, and Waldemar Hoven. After him are Fritz Bauer, Bob Hope, Werner Best, Yisrael Kristal, Abul A'la Maududi, and Werner Ostendorff. Among people deceased in 1972, Louis Leakey ranks 36Before him are Georg von Békésy, Jackie Robinson, Henri Coandă, Ferdinand Čatloš, Fredric Brown, and Karl Silberbauer. After him are Said bin Taimur, Margaret Rutherford, Antonio Segni, Hans Scharoun, S. R. Ranganathan, and Ásgeir Ásgeirsson.

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In Kenya

Among people born in Kenya, Louis Leakey ranks 6 out of 121Before him are Richard Dawkins (1941), Wangari Maathai (1940), Barack Obama Sr. (1936), Jomo Kenyatta (1893), and Daniel arap Moi (1924). After him are Roger Whittaker (1936), Mwai Kibaki (1931), Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (1938), Kipchoge Keino (1940), Deep Roy (1949), and Ben Jipcho (1943).


Among archaeologists born in Kenya, Louis Leakey ranks 1