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Margaret Mead (1901-1978), an American cultural anthropologist. She received her undergraduate degree from Barnard University in 1923, where she studied under Franz Boaz and Ruth Benedict. She acquired a Ph.D from Columbia University in 1929. At the age of 23, Mead began a field study in Samoa, against Boaz's advice. From this experience she wrote "Coming Of Age In Samoa," published in 1928. She became curator at the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History and was a professor of anthropology at Columbia University. She is quoted as saying: "I have spent most of my life studying the lives of other peoples, faraway peoples, so that Americans might better understand themselves." She died of pancreatic cancer in 1978 at the age of 76.