Wagley, Charles (Walter)(1913–91) anthropologist; born in Clarksville, Texas. He earned his A.B. and Ph.D. under Franz Boas at Columbia University, where he spent most of his career teaching (1946–71, 1965–71 as the first Franz Boas professor of anthropology) and directing the Institute of Latin American studies (1961–69). A social anthropologist, he worked in the 1930s among the descendants of the Maya in Guatemala; in the 1940s he was among the first Americans to work in the South American lowlands, beginning the work on Brazil for which he is best known. His community and aboriginal studies in northern and central Brazil include published studies of Tapirape (1940, 1943) and Tenetehara (1949). His other works include the frequently revised Introduction to Brazil (1963) and The Latin American Tradition (1968).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.