November 05, 2009 11:28
The father of the modern anthropology, Claude Levi-Strauss died on Oct. 31 at the age of 100. The Academie Francaise announced his death Tuesday.
The eldest member of the Academie Francaise, Levi-Strauss was the pioneer of structuralism, and largely regarded as the face of the French intellectual heritage after philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre's death.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute to Levi-Strauss, calling him "one of the greatest ethnologists of all time."
Born in Brussels in 1908, Levi-Strauss studied in Paris, and taught anthropology at the University of Sao Paulo. As a French Jew, he sought refuge in the U.S. during World War II, and returned to France at the end of 1940s, where he was a professor at the College de France until his retirement in 1982. His early memoir based on trips to remote areas in southern America, "Tristes Tropiques," is regarded as a landmark in the field of anthropology.
As his name was the same as the founder of a jeans maker Levi Strauss, he would often say, "Not a year goes by without my receiving an order for jeans," the BBC reported.
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