Ruben E. Reina, Anthropology

Ruben E. Reina, professor emeritus of anthropology at University of Pennsylvania and consulting curator emeritus at Penn Museum, died on December 17. Dr. Reina was 92.

Dr. Reina studied modern and historical cultures in Central America, South America and Spain with a focus on Guatemala.

Dr. Reina was born in Huinca Renenco, Cordoba Province, Argentina. He graduated from a bachiller (high school) and studied geology at the Universidad de Cordoba before emigrating to the United States in 1947. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1950 and a master’s degree in sociology and anthropology, also from Michigan, in 1951. In 1957, he was awarded a PhD from the University of North Carolina and was the first person there to receive that degree in anthropology.

In 1957, Dr. Reina was appointed to an assistant professorship in the department of anthropology and to an assistant curatorship at Penn Museum. He served as chairman of the undergraduate program in anthropology from 1960-1966 and chairman of the department of anthropology from 1971-1976. He was also curator of the Loren Eiseley seminar and library from 1982-1984.

Throughout his career at Penn, he received grants from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the American Philosophical Society. At the Penn Museum, he directed several exhibitions.

He taught full-time until 1990, when he became professor emeritus and curator emeritus.

Dr. Reina also worked with the Hispanic-Latin American Research Project, which began in 1967. Dr. Reina served as director of the project, which compiled source material from distant Spanish and Latin American archival and manuscript repositories to make them more accessible.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Betty; sons, Mark, Randy and Roger; and grandchildren, Jeanine, Kathleen, David and Lindsey.

A celebration of life service will be held at 4 p.m. February 19 at Dunwoody Village, 3500 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.