Claude Lévi-Strauss (b. Nov. 28, 1908, Brussels, Blegium–d. Oct. 30 2009, Paris, France) grew up in Paris and studied law and philosophy at the Sorbonne. In 1935, was part of a French cultural mission to Brazil as a visiting professor of sociology at the University of São Paulo while his then wife, Dina. Together they conducted research into the Mato Grosso and the Amazon Rainforest. Lévi-Strauss returned to France in 1939. He was employed at a lycée in Montpellier but was dismissed under the Vichy racial laws since Levi-Strauss was Jewish. In 1941, he was offered a position at the New School for Social Research in New York City and granted admission to the United States. He returned to Paris in 1948 and held the chair of Social Anthropology at the Collège de France, 1959-1982. Lévi-Strauss was elected a member of the Académie française. He was one of the central figures in the structuralist school of thought.