March 24, 1897
|Died||July 4, 1979(aged 82)|
|Spouse(s)||Alfred Louis Kroeber (2nd)|
|Children||Karl, Ursula, Ted, Clifton|
Theodora Kracaw Kroeber Quinn (March 24, 1897 – July 4, 1979) was a writer and anthropologist, best known for her accounts of Ishi, the last member of the Yahi tribe of California, and for her retelling of traditional narratives from several Native Californian cultures.
Theodora Kracaw was born in Colorado, the daughter of Phebe Jane (née Johnston) and Charles Emmett Kracaw.:122 She later moved to California, where she studied at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1920 she earned her Master's degree in clinical psychology. In 1921 she married Clifton Spencer Brown. They had two children, Theodore and Clifton, before Brown's untimely death in 1923.
Encouraged by her mother-in-law, the widowed Theodora went back to study anthropology at U. C. Berkeley. One of her professors was Alfred Louis Kroeber, a leading American anthropologist of his generation and himself a widower. They married in 1926. Alfred Kroeber adopted Theodora's two sons, giving them his last name, and Alfred and Theodora had two more children, writer Ursula K. Le Guin and English professor Karl Kroeber.
Theodora Kroeber accompanied her husband on his field trips, and was immersed in his academic and social life. In 1959, she published The Inland Whale, a retelling of California Indian legends, and in 1961, she published her acclaimed biography of Ishi. She also wrote a biography of Alfred Kroeber after his death in 1960.  Two movies were made based on her account of Ishi: Ishi: The Last of His Tribe (1978) and The Last of His Tribe (1992).
In 1970, she married John Harrison Quinn, an editor 30 years her junior.
|Library resources about
|By Theodora Kroeber|
- The Inland Whale. 1959. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.
- Ishi in Two Worlds. Berkley Books.
- Ishi: The Last of His Tribe. 1964. Parnassus Press, Berkeley, California.
- (with Robert F. Heizer) Almost Ancestors: The First Californians. 1968. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco.
- Alfred Kroeber: A Personal Configuration. 1970. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- (with Robert F. Heizer and Albert B. Elsasser) Drawn from Life: California Indians in Pen and Brush. 1976. Ballena Press, Socorro, New Mexico.
- (with Robert F. Heizer) Ishi, the Last Yahi: A Documentary History. 1979. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Buzaljko, Grace Wilson (1989). "Theodora Kracaw Kroeber". In Ute Gacs, Aisha Khan, Jerrie McIntyre, and Ruth Weinberg (eds.). Women Anthropologists: Selected Biographies (Reprint ed.). Urbana: University of Illinois Press. pp. 187–193. ISBN 0-252-06084-9. OCLC 19670310.
- Mandelbaum, David G. (1979). "Memorial to Theodora Kroeber Quinn (1897–1979)". Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 1 (2): 237–239. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
- Ishi in Two Worlds, talk at UC Berkeley (online audio recording)
- Guide to the Theodora Kroeber Papers at The Bancroft Library
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