F. Clark Howell

University of California, Berkeley

November 27, 1925 - March 10, 2007

Scientific Discipline: Anthropology
Membership Type:
Member (elected 1972)

Francis Clark Howell was a leading expert in human evolution who studied the relationship between geography, climate, and the fossil record in Africa and Europe. By integrating multiple scientific disciplines to address these problems, he pushed the field of anthropology in a new direction that is now known as paleoanthropology.

Howell earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology at the University of Chicago, completing his PhD in 1953. He taught anatomy at Washington University in St. Louis for two years before joining the faculty of the Anthropology Department at the University of Chicago, where he remained until 1970. During this time, he led a multi-year research expeditions in the Omo Valley of Ethiopia, and he wrote a best-selling book for Time-Life titled Early Man, which made the human fossil record accessible to a lay audience and inspired the careers of future leaders in his field.

In 1970, Howell joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, and established the Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies. He resumed excavation projects in Europe and helped assemble the Revealing Human Origins Initiative, funded through the National Science Foundation, which stimulated dozens of new research projects and hundreds of publications. Howell retired from teaching in 1991, but continued his research as a professor emeritus.

Howell was a member of numerous honorary scientific societies and a recipient of the California Academy of Sciences highest honor, the Fellows Medal, as well as the American Association of Physical Anthropologists Charles Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award for Physical Anthropology.

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software