Jane Goodall was born in London, England in 1934. Her father gave her a stuffed chimpanzee toy named Jubilee when she was a child, and this started her lifelong love for animals. She went to Cambridge University in 1962 and was awarded a Ph.D. in ethology in 1965.

In 1960 famed anthropologist/paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey sent her to study chimpanzees in Gombe Tanganyika (now Tanzania), in order to understand the complex society of these animals in their natural habitat. Now as Goodall completes more than 50 years of research, her work has become legendary: She is one of the most publically recognized scientists in the world.

This extraordinary woman has transformed the ways in which we look at the relationship between humans and animals. We sense in her writings and in Jane's Journey (the 2011 documentary made about her life and work) the powerful connections Goodall feels when she is in the presence of her beloved wild chimpanzees with their unique minds, moods, feelings and habits.

She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, a global wildlife and environment conservation organization. Through her Roots & Shoots hands-on educational program, she promotes environmental awareness and community involvement among youth, senior citizens, and prisoners. In thought, word, and deed Goodall has given us a spiritual path to a brighter future: Here are some resources to help you "name" her birthday. As she has said: "Let us, together, sow seeds for a better harvest, a harvest for hope."


Jane Goodall's best book is The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do to Care for the Animals We Love, written with Marc Bekoff, a professor of biology at the University of Colorado. We can only live in peace with two and four legged creatures once we give up the lie of human superiority over animals. Goodall and Bekoff share a list of Ten Trusts which can be used as a catalyst to caring for our multi-footed, winged, and finned brothers and sisters.


Here is an excerpt from The Ten Trusts on the nurturing, healing qualities of dogs, cats, dolphins, birds, and other animals.


"We still have a way to go. But we are moving in the right direction. If we can overcome cruelty, to human and animal, with love and compassion, we shall stand at the threshold of a new era in human moral and spiritual evolution — and realize, at last, our most unique quality."
— in Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey

"I am often asked: How can you seem so peaceful?...I have been privileged to know the peace of the forest.... It is my long days, months, and years in the forests of Gombe that help me to keep calm in the midst of chaos, for I carry the peace within me."
— in Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey

"The longer I live and the more I learn, the more awed I become. What can be more extraordinary than the migrations of birds and fishes, and even insects? Young animals setting off to travel thousands of miles from their birthplace to traditional feeding grounds, finding their way with the help of stars and the magnetic field. Even delicate-seeming butterflies migrate — most of us know of the migration of the monarch butterflies who return to the same resting places every year even though each group is three generations removed from the previous visitors. And we are all familiar with some of the truly mind-boggling journeys that have been undertaken by dogs and cats to return to their old homes."
— in The Ten Trusts


Jane's Journey is a S & P Award winning documentary in 2011 directed by Lorenz Knauer. The film presents an engrossing and multidimensional portrait of this remarkable woman whose commitment and passion for animals and the good earth makes her one of the genuine heroines of our times.


Listen to Jane Goodall share a message about COVID-19: