Walter Goldschmidt

2001 Bronislaw Malinowski Award Recipient


Walter Goldschmidt graduated cum laude from the University of Texas, Austin in 1933 with a BA in Anthropology, followed by his MA in 1935. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1942. He has been a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles since 1946.

Dr. Goldschmidt served as Chair of the 30-member Department of Anthropology at UCLA from 1964-69 and helped to create several organizations, including the African Studies Center at UCLA, the African Studies Association, the Society for Senior Anthropologists, the Society for Psychological Anthropology, and the Anthropological Film Research Institute.

During Dr. Goldschmidt’s distinguished career, he has contributed to over 200 titles, including some 16 books and monographs written or co-authored, another 11 edited or co-edited, about 75 essays in scholarly journals or edited books, forewords to 16 books, and many book reviews and miscellaneous items such as letters to editor, editorials and the like. From 1951-1953 Dr. Goldschmidt was Director of “Ways of Mankind” Radio Project, under the aegis of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters, which produced 26 half-hour radio dramatizations of anthropological concepts and perceptions.

Dr. Goldschmidt’s study of California agriculture has led to the “Goldschmidt Hypothesis” which is still influencing policy research on American agriculture. His study of native land use and rights in Alaska has been influential in preserving access to land among the Tlingit people and is influencing the decisions relating to the Athapascan interior. His publication on the early use of applied anthropology in America remains a major source for that field.

Dr. Goldschmidt has served as President of the American Anthropological Association (1976), American Ethnological Society (1971), Southwestern Anthropological Association (1951), Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, (1971), and Executive Board founding member, African Studies Association (1957-60).