Robert Redfield, the son of a prominent attorney, was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 4th. He attended school at the University of Chicago and received his Bachelors Degree cum laude in 1920 and his Ph.D. for Anthropology in 1928. He also received a J.D. from University of Chicago's Law School and was in WW I as an ambulance driver. His step-father was the main person who convinced him to give up law for anthropology. Redfield became an instructor for the University in 1927 and an Assistant Professor the following year. When Anthropology was given its own department, he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1930 and Professor and Dean of the Social Science Division in 1934. In 1946, Redfield resigned as Dean to become Chairman of the Department of Anthropology.
He wrote several books including The Folk Culture of Yucatan (1941), A Village that Chose Progress (1950), The Primitive World and Its Transformations (1953), The Little Community (1955) and Peasant Culture and Society (1956). Redfield also held several important positions in his lifetime such as Commission of the Freedom of Press (1943-45), president of the American Anthropological Association (1944), member of the Committee to frame a World Constitution (1945-47), member of the Board of the Social Science Foundation in Denver (1948-55), member of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies (1952-55) and many more.
Redfield died on October 16, in Chicago and was survived by his wife Margaret.
This picture reprinted by permission of the American Anthropological Association from the Journal of the American Anthropologist vol 61 1959 Not for reprint.
American Anthropologist vol. 61 1959 American Anthropological Association
Written by: Nikki Akins
Source: E-Museum, Minnesota State University. Mankato.