Gladwin, Harold S.

Gladwin, Harold S. (Sterling)

(1883–1976) stockbroker, archaeologist/anthropologist; born in New York City. After making his fortune as a New York City stockbroker (1908–22), he devoted himself to his enthusiasm, New World archaeology, and anthropology. He participated in the excavation of Casa Grande in Arizona (1927), and he and his wife, Winifred Gladwin, directed the restoration of Gila Pueblo (near Globe, Ariz.) as a research institution and museum (1927–50); his synthesis of his work was published as A History of the Ancient Southwest (1957). Although he made some serious contributions to his discipline, he became best known for promoting such questionable theories as that of "multitudinous migrations" into the Americas and the related concept of cultural diffusionism: that is, the New World was inhabited by a succession of peoples, including Pygmies from Africa, Australoids from Australia, and Greeks and Middle Easterners stranded on the Persian Gulf by Alexander the Great, all of whom introduced their cultures into the New World. By promoting such views in articles and books, including Men Out of Asia (1947), he lost the respect of many professional Americanists.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.