Jane Goodall: Biography highlights

An original Changemaker, Dr. Jane Goodall, at the age of 26, traveled from England to what is today Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees.

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Full biography of Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall’s background

Dr. Jane Goodall was equipped with nothing more than a notebook and a pair of binoculars. But with her unyielding patience and characteristic optimism, she won the trust of these initially shy creatures. She managed to open a window into their sometimes strange and often familiar-seeming lives.

The public was fascinated and remains so to this day. Today, Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share.

The Jane Goodall Institute works to protect the famous chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, but recognizes this can’t be accomplished without a comprehensive approach that addresses the needs of local people who are critical to chimpanzee survival. The community-centered conservation programs in Africa include sustainable development projects that engage local people as true partners.

These programs began around Gombe in 1994, but have since been replicated in other parts of the continent. Likewise, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, which Jane started with a group of Tanzania students in 1991, is today the Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program for young people from preschool through university with nearly 150,000 members in more than 130 countries.



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Watch Jane in action

1/3 videos
Speaker Series: Jane Goodall
Speaker Series: Jane Goodall
A Conversation With Jane Goodall
A Conversation With Jane Goodall
Davos 2019 - An Insight, An Idea with Jane Goodall
Davos 2019 - An Insight, An Idea with Jane Goodall
Clif Bar & Company

It was amazing!! Everyone had the best time - she was funny, the message was perfect...just awesome.'

Douglass College

'Everyone is still talking about how extraordinary it was to hear you and how much your work has changed our perceptions of our relationship to other beings. That you have lived your life so decidedly on your own terms - and in the process have given us so much new knowledge and understanding of our world - has been a wonderful inspiration. Your visit was a highlight of the year for all of us here.'

Barbara A. Shailor
Strong Capital Management, Inc.

'Your life certainly exemplifies many of the values we encourage here at Strong: striving to achieve goals, then reaching higher for the next ones; persistently pursuing the answers to your questions; and importantly, doing work you love.Our associates have been telling us in the past week and a half how much it meant to have you here, and how your stories touched them. You are a woman of great conviction, which comes across clearly, even with your soft.'

Jody R. Lowe and Margaret R.A. Fox
The Dowmel Foundation

'The over-the-top capacity audience was an indication of your stature in the field of primatology and as you can tell, our community was looking forward to your presentation. Your anecdotes about your experiences and insights into your work at Gombe, as well as your own childhood were most memorable, and many people have told me how excited and inspired they were from your lecture.'

Roberta Haas
Lecture Series Coordinator
Oklahoma City University

'World-renowned scientist Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE, spoke last night at the Freede Center as a part of the Distinguished Speakers Series. We estimate that we had 4000 people in attendance for her lecture, each of whom no doubt left feeling more inspired than when they came! Dr. Goodall signed books until 12:50 a.m., which is the longest book signing in our history and within 30 minutes of the longest in hers!'

Hogan & Hartson (Law Firm)

'She was absolutely fantastic! I can't say enough about her. Our audience loved her and would absolutely recommend her to another group. She even brought me to tears!'

Jeorjina Maltbie
Senior Marketing Coordinator

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