Fejos, Paul(1897–1963) movie director, documentary filmmaker, anthropologist; born in Budapest, Hungary. A member of an aristocratic family, he took his M.D. before serving in the Hungarian cavalry and air service in World War I. He made several feature movies in Hungary before moving to New York City (1923), and after working as a researcher with the Rockefeller Institute, he made an experimental movie about suicide, The Last Moment (1928). This led to a brief career as a movie director in Hollywood, but in the early 1930s he went back to Europe and directed a number of feature movies. By the late 1930s he began to make ethnographic films in Madagascar, Indonesia, and Thailand and began to develop an interest in anthropology; in the 1940s he headed an expedition to Peru where he applied his knowledge of anthropology to film the documentary, Yagua (1941). In 1941 he became director of research for the Viking Fund; later it was renamed, after its principal benefactor, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and Fejos headed it from 1955–63. He became a consulting professor of anthropology at Stanford (1943–63) and taught at such institutions as Yale, Columbia, and Fordham.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.