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Shapiro, Harry Lionel


SHAPIRO, HARRY LIONEL (1902–1990), U.S. anthropologist. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Shapiro graduated from Harvard University in 1923. The following year, he travelled to Norfolk Island in New Zealand to study the Pitcairn Islanders, who were the descendants of the mutiny that had taken place in 1789 aboard the British naval vessel Bounty in the South Pacific. After receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1926, Shapiro served as assistant curator in physical anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History, and rose to become curator and chairman of the department in 1942, in which capacity he remained until he retired in 1970. At the same time, he was also a professor of anthropology at Columbia University (1942–73). An officer of various professional organizations and lecturer at various institutions, he was a founding member of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (1930) and served as secretary (1935–39) and vice president (1941–42). He served for many years as a member and in 1953–54 as chairman of the division of anthropology and psychiatry of the National Research Council. His expertise was primarily in physical anthropology, human biology, race, and population.

Among his many honors and awards, Shapiro received the Theodore Roosevelt Distinguished Service Medal (1964); a Distinguished Award for Contributions in Science from the New York Academy of Sciences (1977); and the T. Dale Stewart Award for Distinguished Service from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (1983).

Among his books are The Heritage of the Bounty (1936), Migration and Environment (1939), Race Mixture (1953), Aspects of Culture (1956), The Jewish People: A Biological History (1960), and Peking Man (1974). He also edited Man, Culture, and Society (1956).

[Ephraim Fischoff /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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