Margaret Mead (1901-1978), a student of Ruth Benedict, made anthropology accessible to everyone. After receiving her degree from Columbia University, Margaret studied gender roles, women’s issues, and culture relating to childhood and adolescent development. She served as curator at the New York American Museum of Natural History and was a prolific writer. Her bestseller Coming of Age in Samoa married her interests in Polynesian culture with her study of adolescence. Her work supported the idea that the study of primitive cultures could be influential in analyzing contemporary society. In 1979 Margaret was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.