Anthony F. C. Wallace, Anthropology

anthony wallace

Anthony (Tony) Wallace, C’47, G’49, Gr’50, professor emeritus of anthropology at Penn, died on October 5. He was 91.

Dr. Wallace was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He earned his BA in history and his MA and PhD in anthropology, both from Penn. He began teaching in Penn’s department of anthropology in 1948. In 1961, he became professor and chairman of the department (Almanac October 1961). He was also curator of North American ethnology in the Penn Museum, though that was largely honorary. As chairman of the department of anthropology in the 1960s, he obtained a million dollars from the National Science Foundation to help build the Academic Wing of the Museum.

In 1980, he became the first Geraldine R. Segal Professor in American Social Thought at Penn. In 1983, he became University Professor of Anthropology (Almanac September 13, 1983). He served on the board of the Research Foundation of the University, the Faculty Editorial Committee of the University Press and the Ethnohistory Committee. He retired from Penn and took emeritus status in 1988.

Dr. Wallace was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The former president of the American Anthropological Association also chaired an ACLS sub-commission in the US-USSR exchange, and was an advisor in the American space program. He received a Guggenheim fellowship to study the role of personal networks of mechanicians in industrial innovation in the 19th century (Almanac December 5, 1978).

In 1979, he received the Bancroft Prize for his book, Rockdale: The Growth of an American Village in the Early Industrial Revolution (Almanac April 1979). In 1980, he won the Philadelphia Athenaeum Literary Award for the same book. Additional awards included the Cleveland Foundation’s Annisfield-Wolf Award for The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca and the Cornplanter Medal for Iroquoian Studies.

His books include King of the Delawares: Teedyuscung, 1700–1763 (1949), Culture and Personality (1961, rev. ed. 1970), Religion: An Anthropological View (1966), The Social Context of Innovation (1982), St. Clair: A Nineteenth-Century Coal Town’s Experience with a Disaster-Prone Industry (1987) and The Long, Bitter Trail: Andrew Jackson and the Indians (1993).

His 2012 book, Tuscarora: A History, describes the challenges of cultural survival for the Iroquoia reservation community in western New York. Dr. Wallace first stayed with Tuscarora hosts as a Penn graduate student in 1948.

His papers are at the American Philosophical Society (