It is with great sorrow that The Leakey Foundation shares the news of the passing of Dr. Phillip Vallentine Tobias (b. October 14, 1925).
Dr. Tobias was a world-renowned expert in the field of human origins and Professor Emeritus at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He received numerous honors and awards including South Africa’s Order for Meritorious Service and three nominations for Nobel Prize. Tobias worked closely with Leakey Foundation namesake Louis Leakey and Mary Leakey. Together with John Napier they identified, described and named the new species Homo habilis. Later in life Tobias served on the Foundation’s Scientific Executive Committee (SEC) and then sat as an Emeritus member of the SEC. Phillip Tobias was a dear friend to The Leakey Foundation and his contributions to human origins science are innumerable. He will be greatly missed.
Dr. Tobias passed away today, Thursday, June 7, 2012 in Johannesburg after a lengthy illness. We offer our deepest condolences to family and friends of Dr. Tobias, and those who worked with him and knew him well. An interment ceremony will be held on Sunday, June 10th at West Park Jewish Cemetery, in Johannesburg.