Mooney, James(1861–1921) ethnologist; born in Richmond, Ind. The son of Irish immigrants, he became absorbed by North American Indian culture at an early age. He worked as a newspaperman in his hometown before moving to Washington, D.C., in 1885, where he found employment in the Bureau of American Ethnology. He remained there for the rest of his life, studying and writing about the language, lore, and mythology of the Cherokee, Kiowa, and Sioux tribes. He helped prepare the Handbook of American Indians (1907–10).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.