1 January 1940
Kamoya Kimeu, (born c. 1940) is one of the world’s most successful fossil collectors who, together with paleontologists Meave Leakey and Richard Leakey, is responsible for some of the most significant paleoanthropological discoveries. Kimeu found a Homo habilis skull known as KNM ER 1813, an almost complete Homo erectus skeleton named KNM-WT 15000 or Turkana Boy (also known as Nariokotome boy), and in 1964 the jaw of a Paranthropus boisei skull known as the Peninj Mandible. He has two fossil primates named after him: Kamoyapithecus hamiltoni and Cercopithecoides kimeui.
Kimeu began to work in paleoanthropology as a laborer for Louis Leakey and Mary Leakey in the 1950s. In 1963 he joined with Richard Leakey’s expeditions, accompanying him to the Omo River and Lake Rudolf (now Lake Turkana) in 1967. He quickly became Richard Leakey’s right-hand man, assuming control of field operations in Leakey’s absence. In 1977 he became the National Museums of Kenya’s curator for all prehistoric sites in Kenya. Kimeu was presented the National Geographic Society’s LaGorce Medal by the U.S. President Ronald Reagan in a ceremony at the White House.