Andrews, Roy Chapman

Andrews, Roy Chapman,

1884–1960, American naturalist and explorer, b. Beloit, Wis., B.A. Beloit College, 1906, M.A. Columbia Univ., 1913. Associated with the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, from 1906, he was its director from 1935 to 1942. Between 1908 and 1914 he made several trips to Alaska, along the coast of Asia, and in Malayan seas to study aquatic mammals. He later conducted (1917–30) several expeditions into central Asia to study both fossil and living plants and animals. In the Gobi desert, he discovered some of the world's great fossil fields, which yielded the remains of many ancient animals (including Baluchitherium, the largest known land mammal), dinosaurs and their eggs, and plants previously unknown to science. Handsome and charismatic, Andrews was something of a celebrity, lecturing and becoming a radio personality. He described his expeditions in several books and discussed them all in The New Conquest of Central Asia (1932). His writings also include Meet Your Ancestors (1945), In the Days of the Dinosaur (1959), and the autobiographical Under a Lucky Star (1943) and An Explorer Comes Home (1947).


See C. Gallenkamp, Dragon Hunter: Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic Expeditions (2001).

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Andrews, Roy Chapman

(1884–1960) naturalist, explorer, author; born in Beloit, Wis. Andrews spent his career on the staff of the American Museum of Natural History (1906–42, director 1935–42). He led numerous expeditions, most notably five to central Asia (1922–30), and became famous for his team's discovery in 1928 of 100-million-year-old dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert (the first ever found). Andrews published many popular accounts of his travels, including Across Mongolian Plains (1921) and Ends of the Earth (1929), and he was held up to a whole generation of young Americans as a role model for the scientist as adventurer.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.