Hrdlis?ka, Ales?(1869–1943) physical anthropologist; born in Humpolec, Bohemia (now Czechoslovakia). He arrived in the U.S.A. in 1882. After earning two M.D. degrees (1892, 1894) he was on the staff of the American Museum of Natural History (1899–1903) before moving to the National Museum of Natural History (1903–43, curator from 1910). His extensive anatomical research—specifically, comparative studies of bodily and skeletal measurements of living and dead populations—led to his being one of the first to argue that North and South American Indians derived from a racial stock that originated in Asia and migrated to the Americas across the Bering Strait. But for decades he used his authority and reputation to oppose all evidence that the first Americans had come over before about 4,000 years ago.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.