|Roy Chapman Andrews naturalist and explorer b. Beloit, Wis., died Carmel, Cal. His most famous exploits were the 5 expeditions he led into the Gobi Desert of Mongolia between 1921-1930. Using cars to cover vast amounts of country, the expedition was supplied by prearranged meetings with a camel caravan. Though he never found what he was looking for (the evolutionary source of mankind which we now know to be Africa,) his team found some of the richest fossil beds in the world and discovered many species of ancient life previously unknown to science. His most celebrated discovery where of the first dinosaur eggs ever found.
Due to the political climate of the times, Mongolia was in a state of turmoil due to the Communist Revolution and China's constant warring with Russia. Many disillusioned soldiers fled the fighting and took up banditry in the Gobi and the Expedition was always heavily armed and on the alert for danger. They even had to battle bandits on occassion.
When the political climate became to extreme, Andrews ceased his explorations and returned to America with a status similar to Lindberg and other notable adventurers of his time. He became Director of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, but being desk-bound did not suit his personality and he left after 8 years.
He wrote many books on his adventures and these adventures helped bring world-wide acclaim to the Museum. Today you can still see many of the fossils, dinosaur eggs, and skeletons he brought out of the Gobi.
He died in Carmel in 1960 and was buried in his home town of Beloit, Wisconsin. In the many photographs of Andrews one can't help but notice his attire, and there is no question that he was keenly aware of his appearance, especially the flat-brimmed, high-peaked hat with the pheasant feather in the hat band: he had quite a sense of himself. Historians think that it was a combination of these characteristics that might have inspired George Lucas to developed the famous cinematic character Dr. "Indiana" Jones. If so, it is quite a compliment, but Roy Chapman Andrews was the real deal