Colin Turnbull

From Academic Kids

Colin Macmillan Turnbull (November 23, 1924 - July 28, 1994) was a Scottish-born anthropologist who gained fame with his book The Forest People (1962), a detailed study of the Mbuti Pygmies. In 1972, he wrote his most controversial book, The Mountain People, which portrayed Uganda's hunger-plagued Ik tribe. Turnbull was an unconventional scholar who rejected objectivity. He idealized the Mbuti and reviled the Ik.

Turnbull became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1959 and lived in New York and Virginia with his professional collaborator and partner of 30 years, an African American Dr. Joseph Towles, as an openly gay and interracial couple. After his partner's death in 1988, Turnbull retreated to a Buddhist monastery where he lived out his remaining years under the name Lobsong Rigdol before his death in 1994. Both Drs. Towles and Turnbull died from the complications associated with AIDS.

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