Photo by: Purwo Kuncoro

10 Ways to Live Like Frank Brown

Francis H. Brown was a beloved member of The Leakey Foundation family and co-chair of our Scientific Executive Committee. Frank Brown was a geologist who made enormous contributions to our collective understanding of human evolution. He was known for his curiosity, kindness, and generosity. He was also admired for his mentorship of young scholars, especially those from the African countries he worked in for more than 50 years.

Frank’s daughters, Erica Brown Gaddis and Elise Brown Ersoy wrote this list of ’10 Ways to Live Like Frank Brown.’ We hope it inspires you as you head into the new year.


  1. Be generous with your time, your money, and your intellect.
  2. Be curious about the world around you. Pay attention. Learn
    something new tomorrow even if it serves no utility in your day-to-day
    life.
  3. Have integrity. Show up, help, and follow-through with your word.
  4. Be humble in your own accomplishments and help others achieve
    their own dreams.
  5. Love your work. Do good work. Work a little harder. But save time for
    those that you love.
  6. Care less about the material things in your life and care more about
    your place in the natural world. Waste nothing.
  7. Question everything including institutions and cultural norms.
  8. Find time to read a new book, watch a sunset, or talk with a friend.
  9. Broaden your definition of family. See past a person’s circumstances
    or prejudices.
  10. Most of all, teach someone something. Everyday. Just because.

The Leakey Foundation, together with Erica Brown Gaddis and Elise Brown Ersoy, have established the Francis H. Brown African Scholarship Fund to make it possible for young Kenyan and Ethiopian scholars to pursue projects in the earth sciences and botany that have importance to the study of human origins. Click here if you would like to contribute.



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