Libbie HenriettaHyman

Libbie Henrietta Hyman spent her career researching and writing the definitive texts on invertebrates, a monumental effort. Hyman began her career as a botanist, but upon encountering anti-Semitism, she changed her focus to zoology, earning her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1915. She became a research assistant under Charles Manning Child and in sixteen years she published forty articles on his studies of invertebrates as well as two books: the Laboratory Manual for Elementary Zoology in 1919 and the Laboratory Manual for Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy in 1922. The proceeds from her books were enough to allow her to focus on pure research and in 1931 she moved to New York to begin her life’s work on invertebrates, using the resources of the American Museum of Natural History. Between 1940 and 1967 she published her six-volume treatise, The Invertebrates, as well as ninety articles, despite struggling with Parkinson’s. In 1960 the Linnaean Society of London honored her with its Gold Medal in Zoology, and in 1969 the American Museum of Natural History awarded her its Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Science. Decades after their first publication, her works continue to be cited and used.

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Libbie Henrietta Hyman in 1941.

Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution/Wikimedia Commons.

Date of Birth

Des Moines, IA
United States

Date of Death
Zoologist, Writer

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Libbie Henrietta Hyman." (Viewed on May 14, 2021) <>.


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