National Geographic : 2017 Oct
becoming jane 39 the end of a take, she drops her serious persona and glances directly at the lens—toward Hugo, her director. In these few instances, we see the stirrings of love for the man behind the camera. Taken together, this trove of material provides an intimate view of Jane at a pivotal time: When a young woman who had known Africa only from Tarzan and Dr. Dolittle books was dropped into her fantasy, and when a novice scientist’s discov- eries debunked long-held beliefs about humans’ closest living relatives. At Gombe, Jane withstood all manner of nat- ural threats: malaria, parasites, snakes, storms. But in her dealings with the wider world, the challenges often required shrewd strategy and delicate diplomacy. Early in her career, Jane had to contend with a primarily male science es- tablishment that didn’t take her seriously; with media executives whose support hinged on her willingness to be scripted and glamorized; with men who said they’d be her partner or patron but also sought control, concessions, or relationships that she did not want. Through it all, Jane’s philosophy seemed the same: She would endure slights, accommodate demands, tolerate fools, make sacrifices—if it served to sustain her work. FRom HeR cHiLDHooD in England, Valerie Jane Morris- Goodall professed a deep love of animals and a desire to work with them in Afri- ca. Her family lacked the means to send her to college, so Jane went to secretarial school. She worked at Oxford and then for a documentary film company in London. In the summer of 1956 she returned home, where she waited tables to save for an ocean passage to Kenya. In Nairobi she boldly asked for an appointment with paleoanthropologist Louis S. B. Leakey, whose interest in great apes grew from his pio- neering research into human origins. Leakey hired Jane on the spot to do secretarial work and saw in her the makings of a scientist. He arranged for her to study primates while he raised funds so she could conduct chimpanzee field research in Tanzania. And within months of their first meeting, he told Jane he was in love with her. In the digital versions of this article, the opening quote by Jane Goodall has been changed to correct an error in our reporting.