Born in 1903, he studied at Cambridge University, graduating in 1926. He discovered several human and proto-human skeletons or partial skeletons at Olduvai Gorge and Rusinga Island, firmly outlining man's early ancestral tree.
Married to Mary Leakey, who made arguably the more important discoveries in the field. Father of Richard Leakey, famous for discovering the Turkana boy, a nearly complete skeleton of a 9-year-old hominid who died 1.5 million years ago.
Louis Leakey died of a heart attack in 1972 at the age of 69.