Leroy, Pierre, 1900-

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Pierre Leroy, biologist and Jesuit, was born in La Madeline in northern France on Aug. 24, 1900. He completed his education at the Jesuit College in Lille and the Faculté des Sciences in Nancy, later working at the Museum of Natural History in Tianjin, China in the 1930's. From 1940 to 1946 he served as director of the Geobiological Institute in Beijing, where one of his colleagues was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. S.J. After returning to Europe, Fr. Leroy was a researcher at the Collège de France and director of the Gif-sur-Yvette laboratory until 1970 and 1971 respectively. In addition to his biological research, Pierre Leroy wrote extensively on Teilhard de Chardin and edited for publication their correspondence, which appeared in 1976 under the title, Lettres familières de Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, mon ami: les dernières années, 1948-1955, and was followed by an English translation in 1980.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, paleontologist and philosopher, was born May 1, 1881, at Sarcenat, in the Dept. of Puy de Dôin, France, and educated at the College of Mongréin Villefranche-sur-Saô. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1899 at Aix-en-Provence and was ordained a priest in 1911. From 1912-1914 he studied paleontology under Marcellin Boule in Paris. After a period of teaching in Cairo, service in World War I as a stretcher-bearer, and further teaching at the Institut catholique in Paris, Teilhard began a series of visits to China. He spent the greater part of the period from 1923 to 1947 in China, Mongolia and Southeast Asia, participating in a number of geological and paleological expeditions. During this period he was involved with the discovery and research on Peking man (Sinanthropos), as well as projects on the fauna and artifacts of a number of sites where early man was found. Throughout his life, Teilhard published a large number of articles and monographs on his expeditions and research. His best known works, however, are the relatively few, later, philosophical works he wrote to synthesize his paleological research with his Christian faith. Teilhard's most important philosophical work, The Phenomenon of man, "effected a threefold synthesis--of the material and physical world with the world of mind and spirit; of the past with the future; and of variety with unity, the many with the one" (Sir Julian Huxley). Because the Church had difficulty understanding his radical synthesis of scientific evolution and theology, Teilhard was forbidden from publishing or lecturing on his philosophy from the 1940's; The Phenomenon of man was not released until after his death. Despite the ecclesiastical disapproval of his philosophy, Teilhard continued to work and to write on scientific subjects. He made a number of trips to South Africa during the 1950's, and worked for a time with the Wenner-Gren Foundation in New York. He died in New York on April 10, 1955.

From the description of The Pierre Leroy papers, 1947-1984 (bulk 1948-1955). (Georgetown University). WorldCat record id: 230750687

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Warre, Janetta, 1922-. The Leroy-Warre collection. Accession II, 1960-2001 (bulk 1980-1992). Georgetown University, Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library
creatorOf Leroy, Pierre, 1900-. The Pierre Leroy papers, 1947-1984 (bulk 1948-1955). Georgetown University, Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library
referencedIn Lukas, Mary, 1928-. The Lukas-Teilhard collection, 1899-1985. Georgetown University, Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library
creatorOf Kluge, C. (Constantin), 1912-. The Constantin Kluge - Pierre Leroy collection, 1976-1993. Georgetown University, Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Kluge, C. (Constantin), 1912- person
correspondedWith Lukas, Mary, 1928- person
associatedWith Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre. person
correspondedWith Warre, Janetta, 1922- person
Place Name Admin Code Country


Birth 1900-08-24

Death 1992-05-23






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