Jane Goodall was born in London, England, on April 3, 1934. Her father was an engineer and her mother was an author. Jane grew up in a large house on the ocean and loved being outdoors. She loved to study the many creatures that lived in her big yard. Jane loved nature and respected all living things. She also loved everything about Africa and would read Tarzan stories and the Jungle Book. When she was 11 years old she decided that she wanted to go to Africa and live there when she got older.
Jane never went to college. Instead she took secretarial courses and when she was in her twenties, she took a secretarial job in Nairobi, Kenya, in Africa. A year after she arrived in Africa, she went to meet the famous anthropologist Louis Leakey and his wife. They were doing research on the link between the great apes and humans.
Leakey hired Jane as his secretary and she worked on organizing his research notes. He then chose her to start a project to study chimpanzees on the Gombe National Reserve in Tanzania. He paid for the study and told her that it might take more than 10 years to complete it.
The Tanzanian government didn't think it was safe for a woman to go into the jungle alone without a chaperone, so her mother Vanne went with her. When she got to Gombe, she immediately began her research on chimps. Her observations through more than 38 years of study changed the world's view on chimpanzee and human behaviors. Three months into her research she made her first big discovery. She saw a large male chimp eating a baby bush pig. She was the first one to discover that chimpanzees were not herbivores, but instead they were omnivores,