Eiseley was the son of Clyde Eiseley and Daisey Corey.
and Daisey Eiseley
born on September 3, 1907 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
did not have an easy childhood. His father worked a lot and spent
most of his time away from home.
mother was deaf, had a tendency to be irrational and was rather destructive.
His family lived near the edge of the town, making them somewhat removed
from the Lincoln community. However, this somewhat contributed to
his interest in the natural world. He often played in the caves and
creek banks around his yard and later put these materials in his writings.
of the book Robinson Crusoe from his brother Leo prompted Eiseley
to teach himself to read.
Grace and Uncle Buck allowed Eiseley to stay with them and helped
him out financially. They took him to the Morrill Hall where he first
started his extreme interest in fossils. With the help of his grandmother,
Malvina Corey, he made heads out of clay. Practicing with reading
material from his public library he soon was able to read very well.
the illness and death of his father, he dropped out of high school
and worked at various jobs. He eventually enrolled in the University
of Nebraska where he wrote for the Prairie Schooner, and went on digs
for the Museum. Again his education was brought to a halt when he
was diagnosed with Tuberculosis in 1933.
awarded a Bachelor of Sceince Degree in English and Geology/Anthropology.
Eiseley went on to receive his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania
in 1937. While at the University of Pennsylvania he was heavily influenced
by the head of the Department of Anthropology, Frank Speck. Speck
was LorenÕs personal magician during his youth. He gave Loren the
ideals he needed to seal his final character in place. They had similar
yet different views on life and death. Speck helped shape who Loren
began a teaching career at the University of Kansas in the Department
of Sociology and Anthropology in 1937. In 1939, Loren married Mabel
Langden of Nebraska. In 1947 he returned to Pennsylvania as head of
the Anthropology Department.
and Loren Eiseley
was very concerned with environmental issues and he served on the
U.S. Department of the InteriorÕs advisory board on national parks.
In 1949 he was elected president of the American Institute of Human
Eiseley was best known for his examination of human evolution. In
1942, the Scientific American published his first essay, "The Folsum
Mystery." He is known for the many personal essays he wrote. Such
essays deal with the history of civilization and our relationship
with the natural world. His first best known book , The Immense Journey,
was published in 1946. This book established him as a writer who could
combine science and humanism. He then began being recognized nationally
and internationally and was given major prizes and honorary degrees
for his work. In 1958, his book DarwinÕs Century was awarded the Phi
Beta Kappa prize for best book in science. From 1959 to 1961, he was
appointed Provost at the University of Pennsylvania and was then named
Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and the History of Science.
dealt with the history of the civilization and our relationship with
the natural world. The publication that Loren Eiseley is most well-known
for is The Immense Journey, establishing him as a writer with a unique
ability to combine science and humanism. The Immense Journey is a
collection of essays, many of which owe their origins to early Nebraska
experiences. From this point on, Loren Eiseley wasknown nationally
and internationally and given major prizes and honorary degrees for
his unique work.
1969 to 1977, Eiseley published many volumes of personal essays and
poetry. Those publications include: The Invisible Pyramid, The Unexpected
Universe, The Night Country, Notes of an Alchemist, The Star Thrower,
and Another Kind of Autumn. In 1971 he was elected to the National
Institute of Arts and Letters. His autobiography, "All the Strange
Hours," was published in 1975 and was said to be one of his finest
Eiseley died on July 9, 1977.
Document Written by Sadie Anderson Retrieved on April 2002 at http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/information/biography/abcde/eiseley-loren.html
and Edited by Amanda Stahlnecker 2002