PARIS — Claude Levi-Strauss, widely considered the father of modern
anthropology for work that included theories about commonalities
between tribal and industrial societies, has died. He was 100.
The French intellectual was regarded as having reshaped the field of
anthropology, introducing the concept of structuralism — concepts
about common patterns of behavior and thought, especially myths, in a
wide range of human societies. Defined as the search for the
underlying patterns of thought in all forms of human activity,
structuralism compared the formal relationships among elements in any
During his six-decade career, Levi-Strauss authored literary and
anthropological classics including “Tristes Tropiques” (1955), “The
Savage Mind” (1963) and “The Raw and the Cooked” (1964).
Jean-Mathieu Pasqualini, chief of staff at the Academie Francaise,
said an homage to Levi-Strauss was planned for Thursday, with members
of the society — of which Levi-Strauss was a member — standing during
a speech to honor his memory.
Born on Nov. 28, 1908, in Brussels, Belgium, Levi-Strauss was the son
of French parents of Jewish origin. He studied in Paris and went on to
teach in Sao Paulo, Brazil and conduct much of the research that led
to his breakthrough books in the South American giant.
Levi-Strauss also won worldwide acclaim and was awarded honorary
doctorates universities including Harvard, Yale and Oxford, as well as
universities in Sweden, Mexico and Canada.
He is survived by his sons Roman and Laurent.