HomeStatisticsPoliticianRichard Leakey Height, Weight, Age, Wife, Family

Richard Leakey Height, Weight, Age, Wife, Family

Richard Leakey Quick Info
Height 5 ft 10 in
Weight 105 kg
Date of Birth December 19, 1944
Zodiac Sign Sagittarius
Date of Death January 2, 2022

Richard Leakey was a Kenyan paleoanthropologist, conservationist, and politician who was highly respected for definitively establishing Africa as the birthplace of humankind through his numerous fossil discoveries, which also included the ‘Turkana Boy’ specimen belonging to the Homo ergaster species.

Born Name

Richard Erskine Frere Leakey

Nick Name


Richard Leakey as seen in 1986
Richard Leakey as seen in 1986 (Rob Bogaerts / Anefo / Wikimedia / CC0 1.0)


He was born on December 19, 1944.


Richard passed away on January 2, 2022, from an unknown cause in Nairobi at the age of 77 years.

Sun Sign


Born Place

Nairobi, British Kenya





Paleoanthropologist, Conservationist, Politician


  • Father – Louis Leakey (Paleoanthropologist, Archeologist, Curator of the Coryndon Museum) (Died in 1972)
  • Mother – Mary Leakey (Paleoanthropologist) (Died in 1996)
  • Siblings – Jonathan Leakey (Brother), Philip Leakey (Younger Brother) (Politician)
  • Others – Leonard Beecher (Uncle) (Archbishop)




5 ft 10 in or 178 cm


105 kg or 231.5 lbs

Girlfriend / Spouse

Richard had dated –

  1. Margaret Cropper (1965-1969)​ – He married archeologist Margaret Cropper in 1965. The two welcomed a daughter named Anna Leakey in 1969 and filed for divorce a few months later that same year.
  2. Meave Epps (1970-2022) – Leakey tied the knot with Meave Epps in 1970. The couple raised 2 daughters together named Samira Leakey (b. 1974) and Louise Leakey (b. March 21, 1972), who works as a paleontologist and anthropologist like her parents. The two stayed married for more than 50 years until Richard’s death in 2022.
Richard Leakey as seen at the WTTC Global Summit in 2015
Richard Leakey as seen at the WTTC Global Summit in 2015 (World Travel & Tourism Council / Wikimedia / CC BY 2.0)

Race / Ethnicity


He had English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry.

Hair Color

Dark Brown

However, his hair had turned ‘Gray’ by the time of his death.

Eye Color

Dark Brown

Sexual Orientation


Distinctive Features

He used artificial limbs.



Richard Leakey as seen in 2010
Richard Leakey as seen in 2010 (Ed Schipul / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Richard Leakey Facts

  1. He had a near-death experience at the age of 11 years when he fell from his horse and fractured his skull in 1956.
  2. Richard was involved in a plane crash in 1993 while piloting a small propeller-driven plane, which crashed and crushed both his lower legs. Sadly, his legs had to be amputated and he had to use artificial limbs for the rest of his life.
  3. Among his remarkable fossil discoveries were a cranium of Paranthropus boisei, a Homo rudolfensis skull (KNM ER 1470) in 1972, a Homo erectus skull (KNM ER 3733) in 1975, and an intact cranium of Homo erectus (KNM ER 3883) in 1978.
  4. In 2001, Richard published the book Wildlife Wars: My Fight to Save Africa’s Natural Treasures.
  5. In 1984, a member of Leakey’s team named Kamoya Kimeu discovered the Turkana Boy, a young Homo ergaster skeleton aged between 7 to 11 years who lived more than 1.6 million years ago. Its discovery was groundbreaking considering that the specimen was the first-ever almost complete early hominin skeleton to be found.
  6. In May 1995, Richard launched a new political party called the Safina Party (translated to Noah’s Ark in Swahili) along with other Kenyan intellectuals.
  7. He founded the charitable organization called WildlifeDirect in 2004. The organization provided support to conservationists in Africa and played a crucial role in saving the mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park located in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007.
  8. The Hollywood A-lister Angelina Jolie had previously intended to direct a film based on Richard’s extraordinary life story.

Featured Image by Rob Bogaerts / Anefo / Wikimedia / CC0 1.0

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