Jane Goodall's revolutionary study of chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe preserve altered the very definition of "humanity" for some.

As a toddler she was entranced by all living things, and over the years the little girl inspired by Tarzan and The Jungle Book became the woman who found herself working with famed paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey; accomplished scientific breakthroughs in Gombe; and, ultimately, became a champion of the environment.

In her autobiography, Reason For Hope, she says that hers "has been a life blessed with faith, resolve, and purpose, though not without its crises." Jane Goodall endured the horrors of the London blitz and World War II, postwar hardships, vicious rumors and "establishment" assaults on the integrity of her work, a terrorist attack and hostage taking in Africa, and her husband's slow, agonizing death. Still, she went on to introduce the world to the Gombe chimpanzees nearly 40 years ago, then went on again to found the Jane Goodall Institute for People, Animals, and the Environment in 1977.