Phillip Valentine Tobias

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Phillip Valentine Tobias

Birthdate: (86)
Birthplace: Durban, KZN, South Africa
Death: June 7, 2012 (86)
Johannesburg, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph Newman Tobias and Fanny Rosendorff
Brother of Valerie Pearl Tobias

Occupation: Palaeoanthropologist, Prof at WITS
Managed by: Timothy Riordan Stones
Last Updated:

About Phillip Valentine Tobias

He is one of South Africa's most honoured and decorated scientists, and a world leading expert on human prehistoric ancestors; he has been nominated three times for a Nobel Prize, received a dozen honorary doctorates and been awarded South Africa's Order for Meritorious Service.

Tobias has published over 600 journal articles and authored or co-authored 33 books and edited or co-edited eight others.He has received honorary degrees from seventeen universities and other academic institutions in South Africa, the United States of America, Canada and Europe. He has been elected as a fellow, associate or honorary member of over 28 learned societies. These include being elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. Among the very many medals, awards and prizes he has received are the Balzan Prize for Physical Anthropology (1987) and the Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (1997). The Royal Society of South Africa is very sparing with its honours, and Tobias is one of only two South African Honorary Fellows of the Society and one of very few recipients of its senior medal, the John Herschel Medal.

He holds the positions of Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Honorary Professor of Palaeo-anthropology, Honorary Professorial Research Associate and Director of the Sterkfontein Research Unit, and Andrew Dickson White Professor-at-Large of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York USA. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Cambridge University and other institutions. He has taught over 10 000 students during his fifty years of service at Wits Medical School.

He was an outspoken critic of institutionalised apartheid and campaigned actively for its abolition.


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Phillip Valentine Tobias's Timeline

October 14, 1925
Durban, KZN, South Africa
June 7, 2012
Age 86
Johannesburg, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa