Powdermaker, Hortense

Powdermaker, Hortense

(1896–1970) cultural anthropologist; born in Philadelphia. The daughter of a businessman, she graduated from Goucher College in 1919, worked as a union organizer, and studied at the London School of Economics. A pioneer among women archaeologists for working alone in exotic places, her Life in Lesu, based on research in a Pacific island village, appeared in 1933. She taught at Queens College, New York City, from 1938–68, and did anthropological studies of life in a Mississippi town and in Hollywood, Calif.; the latter resulted in Hollywood, The Dream Factory (1950). She published her memoirs, Stranger and Friend: The Way of an Anthropologist, in 1966.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.