Anthropology Prof. Emeritus James B. Griffin died May 31
ANN ARBOR—James B. Griffin, professor emeritus of anthropology and curator emeritus of archaeology at the University of Michigan, died of heart failure May 31 at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 92 years old.
Griffin was an internationally recognized expert on the prehistoric Native American cultures of the Mississippi Valley and the Eastern United States. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he played a pioneering role in encouraging the use of data from many academic disciplines to understand how these cultures emerged, flourished and faded.
Griffin received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago, then earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from the U-M in 1936. He joined the U-M faculty, becoming director of the U-M Museum of Anthropology in 1946 and full professor of anthropology in 1949. He retired from the U-M in 1975. In 1984 he moved to Bethesda, Md., and became a Regents Fellow at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, until he retired again in 1990.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Marsh DeWitt of Bethesda, Md.; three sons, John of Portland, Maine; David of Chevy Chase, Md.; and James of Crested Butte, Colo.; and four grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held in Ann Arbor in late