By WOLFGANG SAXON (New York Times, April 19, 2000) Dr. Sherwood Larned Washburn, an anthropologist and pioneering primatologist who linked the evolution of human behavior traits to the actions of apes and monkeys, died on Sunday at a hospital near his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 88. Washburn was an emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, where he taught and worked from 1958 to 1978. He helped the university become a leader in primatology during his tenure with his study of baboon colonies in Kenya. His work also took him to remote areas of Sri Lanka, Thailand, Borneo and South Africa, where he made friends with the famous fossil-hunting Leakey family. On campus, Washburn's lectures inspired standing ovations from his students. In his research, Washburn took a holistic approach, proceeding from anatomy to function and behavior. In the classroom and on the printed page, he explained how bones, joints and muscles were related to movement and social behavior in humans and other primates. He wrote many articles, and his books included "Human Evolution: Biosocial Perspectives" and "Ape Into Human: A Study of Human Evolution." Sherwood Washburn, known as Sherry, was born in Cambridge, Mass. He graduated from Groton School in 1931 and, summa cum laude, from Harvard in 1935. He received his doctorate in anthropology from Harvard in 1940. He started his academic career as an instructor at Columbia University in 1939 and soon after became an assistant professor of anatomy. From 1947 until his appointment at Berkeley he was based at the University of Chicago. At Berkeley he was given the rare title of university professor in 1975. He won nearly every medal and prize given in his field, including the Wenner-Gren Foundation's Viking Medal in 1960, the Huxley Medal in 1967 and the Distinguished Service Award of the American Anthropological Association in 1983. The Fourth International Congress of Primatology in 1972 was dedicated to him. "Sherry Washburn was one of the great pioneers of the modern life sciences," said Dr. David A. Hamburg, president emeritus of the Carnegie Foundation. "He brought together an unprecedented variety of disciplines to provide insight into the evolutionary origins of human anatomy and behavior. He opened up the study of primate behavior in natural habitats." Washburn is survived by two sons, Sherwood, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Stan, of Berkeley; a brother, Dr. Bradford Washburn, of Lexington, Mass.; and six grandchildren. His wife, Henrietta Pease Washburn, died in 1985 after 47 years of marriage.
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