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Remembering Professor Henry Harpending (1944-2016)

Dr. Henry Harpending, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology from 1997-2016, passed away on April 3, 2016 from complications due to a stroke. Henry was an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences who completed his undergraduate degree at Hamilton College and his Ph.D. at Harvard University. He came to the University of Utah in 1997 from Penn State University as the Thomas Professor of Anthropology.  His research focused on genetic diversity within and between human populations with over 120 publications in top outlets in his field. He conducted fieldwork with several groups in southern Africa, concentrating on family demographic histories.

Henry’s scholarly and personal footprint will be long lasting in the field and at the University of Utah, but we will miss his presence dearly.  We invite you to visit the Anthropology Department’s Facebook page at and share a few words or a fond memory that you have of Henry, as a friend, colleague, family member or acquaintance.  


Late Professor Irven DeVore, Professor John Yellen,  Late Professor Henry Harpending,  and =oma!oma, late 1960s in the Kalahari

Professor Alan Rogers and Henry 

Last Updated: 3/22/18