Margaret Mead was born on Monday, December 16, 1901, at the West Park Hospital in Philadelphia, P.A. Margaret was the first baby to be born in this hospital, and because of this, she felt different from the rest of the children, because they had all been born at home.
Margaret’s parents were from the midwest, and because of their professions, the family moved quite a bit living in such places as Hampton, New Jersey; Greenwich Village in New York City, and St. Marks Square in Philadelphia. Because she moved so much as a child, Margaret had been subjected to many different styles of living, and therefore had a growing desire to learn more about different lifestyles and cultures.
Margaret’s first major experience was going to school. Margaret often felt out of place because of moving so much and being in many different schools, and often being taught at home by her grandmother.
However, it was in high school that she met and later became engaged to a man by the name of Luther Cressman. After attending many high schools because of her family’s travel, she graduated, and was sent to DePauw University at Greencastle Indiana in 1919, where her intention was to major in English. Unfortunately, Margaret was looked down on in DePauw, so she transferred to Barnard College where she studied with Franz Boas and his student Ruth Benedict. It was also at Barnard College that she decided to make anthropology her main field of study. She received her B.A. degree from Barnard in 1923. In September of that same year, Margaret was married to Luther in a small Episcopal Church where she had been baptized. She then continued her studies as a graduate student, and in 1924 she received her M.A. degree in Psychology from Columbia University. In 1925, she completed her doctoral thesis, but did not receive her Ph.D from Columbia until 1929.
Also in 1925, she began her first field work project, in the Samoan Islands. On...