Mary G. Smith

Mary G. Smith retired in 1994 as the National Geographic Society’s senior assistant editor, Research Grant Projects. For more than 37 years, she worked with scientists who received grants from the Society's Committee for Research and Exploration, evaluating the potential of all funded projects for popular publication.

For many years, she frequently dealt with principal investigators and their colleagues to present their accomplishments to a popular audience through the pages of National Geographic and in Society books and television programs. Smith has a special interest and expertise in human evolution and natural history, particularly in the studies of the great apes.

She was a mentor and friend to the so-called “ape ladies”--Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall, and Birute Galdikas--and is a retired president of the Jane Goodall Institute.  During her years with National Geographic, Smith traveled extensively visiting Society-supported projects around the world.  Born in Detroit in 1934, she now lives permanently on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean.

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