Ruth Benedict (Anthropologist) – Bio, Birthday, Family, Age & Born
Ruth Benedict

Ruth Fulton Benedict was an American anthropologist and folklorist. She was born in New York City, attended Vassar College and graduated in 1909. After studying anthropology at the New School of Social Research under Elsie Clews Parsons, she entered graduate studies at Columbia University in 1921, where she studied under Franz Boas. She received her PhD and joined the faculty in 1923. Margaret Mead, with whom she shared a romantic relationship, and Marvin Opler, were among her students and colleagues. Benedict was President of the American Anthropological Association and was also a prominent member of the American Folklore Society. She became the first woman to be recognized as a prominent leader of a learned profession. She can be viewed as a transitional figure in her field, redirecting both anthropology and folklore away from the limited confines of culture-trait diffusion studies and towards theories of performance as integral to the interpretation of culture.

Born: Ruth Fulton, June 5, 1887, New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: September 17, 1948, New York City, New York, U.S.
Education: Vassar College (BA), New School of Social Research, Columbia University (PhD)
Occupation: Anthropologist
Spouse(s): Stanley Rossiter Benedict
Parent(s): Frederick Fulton and Beatrice Fulton

About Ruth Benedict

American anthropologist who was one of the first woman to be considered a prominent leader of a learned profession.

Before Fame

She attended Vassar College before working as a graduate student with Franz Boas at Columbia University.


In her 1934 book, Patterns of Culture, she posited that there always existed a relationship between personality, art, language and culture.

Family Life

Many people believe that she and Margaret Mead were lovers.


Franz Boas, who is considered the father of modern anthropology, was her teacher and mentor.

Information related to Ruth Benedict

  • Women orientalists
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  • LGBT scientists from the United States
  • Cultural anthropologists
  • American women anthropologists
  • Scientists from New York City
  • Vassar College alumni

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Latest information about Ruth Benedict updated on September 16, 2020.

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