Roy Chapman Andrews, adventurer.
February 17, 2013 4:18 AM   Subscribe

[Roy Chapman] Andrews is best remembered for the series of dramatic expeditions he led to the Gobi of Mongolia (shorter films: 1, 2) from 1922 to 1930. Andrews took a team of scientists into previously unexplored parts of the desert using some of the region’s first automobiles with extra supplies transported by camel caravan. Andrews – for whom adventure and narrow escapes from death were a staple of exploring – is said to have served as inspiration for the Hollywood character “Indiana Jones.” Andrews’s expeditions to the Gobi remain significant for, among other discoveries, their finds of the first nests of dinosaur eggs, new species of dinosaurs, and the fossils of early mammals that co-existed with dinosaurs.

Ha was on the cover of Time when it used to cost fifteen cents and he wrote 23 books including All about dinosaurs.
posted by ersatz (8 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
The link '2' was meant to be this. Incidentally, here's a quote of Andrews on brontosaurus: 'The small brain weighed less than a pound. It shows that the creature was just about as stupid as an animal could be and still live.'
posted by ersatz at 4:23 AM on February 17, 2013

Mod note: fixed.
posted by taz (staff) at 4:34 AM on February 17, 2013

I read the SHIT out of All About Dinosaurs when I was a kid. Roy Chapman Andrews was an early hero of mine, mainly because he was proof that studious minded nerds could have exciting, action filled adventures as part of their intellectual pursuits.
posted by KingEdRa at 5:17 AM on February 17, 2013

My sixth-grade teacher in New Jersey, 1960, was always talking about Roy Chapman Andrews. (I understood his last name as Chapmenandrews, the way she said it.)

In the 70s I had friends who lived in the house Andrews retired to in Colebrook, CT (he later moved to Carmel CA where he died). Here's a neat recollection (PDF) written by another Colebrook resident for the historical society there. Read especially the second part about the tit-for-tat (which was perhaps the reason for his moving out of town). I think I heard that story told at the Andrews house.
posted by beagle at 6:53 AM on February 17, 2013

The Roy Chapman Andrews Society awards the Roy Chapman Andrews Distinguished Explorer Award annually to those who explore in the spirit of RCA. You've just missed this year's presentation to John Grotzinger, lead scientist on the Curiosity mission to Mars.

If you're in the WI/IL stateline area and would like to catch next year's award lecture, gimme a shout. The lectures I have seen have been uniformly excellent and inspiring.
posted by BrashTech at 9:01 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

One of my most cherished books was a well worn first printing of Under a Lucky Star. Thanks for posting this.
posted by tmt at 10:07 AM on February 17, 2013

Put me down as an All About Dinosaurs man. One of my absolute favorite books when I was a kid. Several years ago I wrote a magaine article about Andrews' Gobi Desert expeditions and leaned heavily on The New Conquest of Central Asia; A Narrative of the Explorations of the Central Asiatic Expeditions in Mongolia and China, 1921-1930, which was fascinating reading and also had lots of great photos. As I recall, it was about the size of a phone book. There also used to be a website devoted to Walter Granger, a co-worker of Andrews, and it had nothing good to say about Andrews. Can't find it anymore. I think it was The Walter Granger Papers Project.
posted by Man-Thing at 2:17 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Mmmm, thank you for this post. I read an Andrews book at age 13 and have been fascinated by explorers, the Gobi, and dinosaurs ever since. I need to reread Across Mongolian Plains yet again, and check into some of the others I hadn't seen. Yum!
posted by BlueHorse at 12:35 AM on February 18, 2013

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