Eiseley, Loren

Eiseley, Loren (Corey)

(1907–77) cultural anthropologist, writer; born in Lincoln, Nebr. A hardware salesman's son, he graduated from the University of Nebraska (1933) and took his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (1937). He taught anthropology at the University of Kansas (1937–44) and Oberlin (1944–47) before returning to the University of Pennsylvania (1947–61); he also became the curator of early man at the university's museum (1948–61) and served as university provost (1959–61). In the 1930s he did field work in the American West to investigate the remains of the earliest humans to inhabit North America, but he would become most noted for his highly polished writing style. (As a student he published poetry and short stories and was an editor of The Prairie Schooner, a noted literary magazine.) In books such as The Immense Journey (1957), Darwin's Century (1958), The Unexpected Universe (1969), and Night Country (1971), he moved from straightforward explanations of matters such as evolution to increasingly more literary and personal ruminations. His autobiography, All the Strange Hours, appeared in 1975.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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