Mary Douglas was born in San Remo, Italy, on March 25, 1921. She studied at Oxford and completed her Ph.D. in 1951. She was a Research Fellow at the International African Institute for Fieldwork (Belgian Congo 1949-50); Lecturer in anthropology at University College, London (1951-62); Professor of Social Anthropology at University College, London (1971-78); Reader at the University of London (1951-62); Director of Research on Culture at the Russell Sage Foundation, New York (1977-81); Avalon Foundation Professor in Humanities at Northwestern University (1981-85) and then emeritus professor; and visiting professor at Princeton University (1985-88). She is the author of numerous publications including Purity and Danger, Natural Symbols, Implicit Meanings, Risk and Culture, In the Active Voice, In the Wilderness (1993), and Leviticus as Literature (1999).