Dr. Louis S. B. Leakey was one of the 20th century’s great anthropologists and a tireless promoter of science education and public outreach. It was during Dr. Leakey’s travels to the United States in the 1960′s, to lecture and raise money for his research, that he met a group of enthusiastic individuals who were intellectually curious about human evolution and our earliest ancestors and fascinated with his work. Inspired by Dr. Leakey’s interpretations of human evolution, a collective was formed to promote a multidisciplinary approach to explore human origins research. In 1968 several individuals founded The Leakey Foundation to support Louis and Mary Leakey’s fieldwork as well as encourage the funding of young scientists and their groundbreaking research.
Within its first decade of existence, The Leakey Foundation provided grants to many of the seminal studies that inform our understanding of human prehistory, such as the field research and discoveries of Louis, Mary, and Richard Leakey; Don Johanson; Jane Goodall; Dian Fossey; and Birute Galdikas. Today The Leakey Foundation continues to support the significant studies of researchers like: Zeresenay Alemseged, Jill Pruetz, Dan Lieberman, Frederick Grine, Sileshi Semaw, David Lordkipanidze, and many more.